Verily has a number of ongoing hardware and sensor projects from the recently FDA-approved ECG Study Watch to Smart Lenses for corrective vision. A new report today reveals that the Alphabet division is working on health-tracking shoes.
According to CNBC, Verily in recent months has developed a smart shoe with features like health-tracking and fall detection. The latter capability is already found on the Apple Watch Series 4 released last year, with products that feature this functionality being particularly ideal for the elderly. For example, Apple’s smartwatch is able to automatically call emergency contacts when a fall is detected.
Sensors are embedded into the shoes with weight tracking also made possible by the form factor. This could interestingly enable the ability to determine congestive heart failure as sudden weight gain due to the body retaining fluid is an associated symptom, according to today’s report.
In recent months, the Alphabet division has shown off a prototype design in private meetings to find a co-developer to actually build the shoe, and bring it to market.
Verily is presumably looking for partners with experience in footwear rather than having to learn how to build a good shoe from scratch. This is the health company’s usual model as seen by a strategic partnership with Walgreens on managing chronic conditions late last year. It also aids in making the underlying tech available to multiple brands in a variety of styles.
Meanwhile, an existing partnership with Dexcom is working on miniaturized continuous glucose monitors, while Verily is also working with Alcon on smart contact lenses.
CNBC is not aware of the current status of the shoe project, and whether Verily has found any partners. In terms of commercialization, a shoe could be more readily available to buyers than existing medical equipment that Verily is exploring.