Under Armour has filed for two patents that will allow shoes to read a user’s blood pressure.
Under Armour has already made a big push into “smart” clothing, but they took that focus up another notch earlier this week when they filed an official patent for a new shoe that can take the user’s blood pressure during their workout and provide actionable data that will help them recover more quickly.
The patent, which was filed with the U.S Patent And Trademark Office on June 25th, describes two possible versions of the shoe, which was originally reported by the Baltimore Business Journal. The first version involves the user of the shoe connecting with a device similar to a Fitbit that would take an athlete’s blood pressure. Depending on the data reading, the sole of the shoe could adjust to improve the blood flow to the athlete’s leg.
In the patent filing Under Armour is looking to connect to the athletes who suffer from poor circulation in their feet after difficult and physically taxing workouts. Their new technological innovation could lead to less discomfort caused by this common issue.
The second patent application involves a shoe model that includes a “detector” placed in the bottom of the shoe that can also take a blood pressure reading, similar to that in the first application. Under Armour states in the second application that athletes have issues while recovering because the foot stops pumping blood. This “smart” shoe could alleviate these issues by taking its blood pressure readings.
It should be noted that simply filing a patent application does not necessarily ensure that the desired product will get approved and hit the market. It certainly does, however, provide a large window into the types of technological innovations that Under Armour is working on right now to make apparel more interactive and provide athletes with actionable data instead of just being fabric, as they have been producing for many decades. Under Armour leadership has been very outspoken about wanting to steer the company’s vision to apparel that will directly help athletes to perform better instead of just being comfortable or aesthetically pleasing.
Last year the company introduced its HOVR running shoes, which provided consumers with a new impact absorbing material that also was able to track the athlete’s stride length and cadence as well as stride and distance. In addition, the shoes could also be connected to the MapMyRun app that Under Armour acquired in May of 2013.
The common theme for many of Under Armour’s technological innovations has always been data tracking and recovery. These developments have included shoes, apparel and even sleepwear. Earlier this year, the company launched a Rush line that featured a fabric that Under Armour claimed could turn an athlete’s body heat into energy that can supply the muscles for greater recovery.
While a lot of these new apparel innovations are in the very early days, it appears that clothing for training could be drastically different in the near future, given what Under Armour has been working on. Like many of the devices in our lives, it appears that it will not be long before all of our clothing will be “smart”.
Article source: forbes.com