Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Delicate Balance

Even canes and shoes, items that appear to employ no technology, are getting smarter.

A team of researchers at UCLA's programWireless Health has fitted these walking aids with accelerometers and gyroscopes -- devices that were developed for fighter jets and missiles but are now in smart phones.

The canes and shoes would be used to monitor balance and teach users how to walk safely and avoid falling. Sensors inside can also transmit data in real time to doctors and caretakers who keep track of the user's mobility. The canes and shoes are still in the testing phase, but developers hope to have them on the market early next year.

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