Hardware

This chip's got sole

It truly is amazing where you can find chips nowadays. A couple months ago, I blogged about a news story that claims wireless chip sensors of the future might be able to tell us when our underwear are dirty and need to be thrown in the wash: "Are your underwear clean? Check your chip." Today I ran across another amazing chip story, but this time they are embedded in the soles of tennis shoes: "Sneaker tech hits the streets."

According to this story, "New shoes—some already in stores and some soon to hit—come with everything from computer chips to cutting-edge materials designed to better absorb foot pounding... [the] chip communicates information to a motor, which is attached with a wire to a plate in the heel. If the motor increases tension on the wire, the heel stiffens. If it eases, the heel softens... The idea is to create a 'smart' shoe that alters itself for the gait and foot of a runner."

sneaker chip

Take a look at the entire photo gallery: "Get your (sneaker's) motor running."

This is great news for people who like to run. I'm more of a sitter. I'd be very interested in purchasing a chip that's embedded in the seat of my chair, and it would alert me if I'm slouching, need a break, or asleep. Hey, we all could use a personalized chip. Where would you have yours embedded, and what would it do? 

About Sonja Thompson

Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.

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