Founded in 2011 by Vigano and his former Microsoft colleagues, Sensoria has developed an array of “smart” garments that can track your movements and measure how well you’re walking or running. The company offers an artificial intelligence-powered real-time personal trainer; it partnered with Microsoft last year to develop “smart soccer boots”; and it also partnered with Renault last year to build a smart racing suit for professional racecar drivers.
I recently met at the Microsoft Ignite conference in Orlando an old friend of mine working at this company. He showed me the smart sock. Here’s how it works:
- Each smart sock is infused with three proprietary textile sensors under the plantar area (bottom of the foot) to detect foot pressure.
- The conductive fibers relay data collected by the sensors to the anklet. The sock has been designed to function as a textile circuit board.
- Each sock features magnetic contact points below the cuff so you can easily connect your anklet to activate the textile sensors.
When I saw the product in person, I selfishly suggested a smart elbow brace for tennis players as I play squash.
There are a lot of applications for smart textiles beyond socks for sport, and in fact, the company is entering the healthcare market too, but ever since meeting my friend, I wondered about the future of sports.
Today athletes are forbidden from augmenting their bodies through chemicals. But what if tomorrow the appeal of sport becomes how much technology can push a human body?