Reflx Labs, the Seattle startup behind the Boogio bionic foot sensor, is one of the first companies using Samsung’s Artik chips — leveraging a new platform unveiled by the electronics giant today as part of its expansion into the Internet of Things.
Boogio is a paper-thin shoe insert with tens of thousands of layers of pressure sensitivity. It connects to a small device that attaches to any shoe, containing an accelerometer, gyroscope and Bluetooth connectivity. Jose Torres, the Reflx Labs CEO, says the use of Samsung’s Artik-1 miniature system-on-a-chip will allow the wearable technology company to shift from a relatively large prototype device to a much smaller module on the shoe.
Torres was on stage at Samsung’s event today to announce that Reflx is working with Florida Hospital to develop new rehab solutions for pediatric patients using the Boogio foot sensors. The two teams will work together to make applications for the Boogio sensors, which slip into a user’s shoe and can then transmit data about how someone is walking for logging and evaluation.
The Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation group at Florida Hospital is investigating the use of Boogio sensors as a training device for kids who walk on the toes or balls of their feet. Boogio devices are helpful in that regard, since they provide detailed information on foot pressure, balance and three dimensional movement of the foot as someone walks.
“Our initial observation of Boogio as a ‘smart shoe’ with children is very intriguing,” Julie Sexton, the administrative director of Florida Hospital Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, said in a press release. “We see the potential to develop interactive and engaging treatments not only for children, but for adults and athletes as well.”
The new Artik chips, which were announced today, provide a system on a chip that’s designed for wearable use at a low price point. With the new chips, Samsung is jumping into a market that’s heating up, with existing solutions from Qualcomm, Intel and other chip manufacturers.
Reflx last year announced a partnership with Intellectual Ventures to work on further developing and commercializing the technology. Reflx originally spun out of the Qi2 engineering and development company, which is the majority stakeholder in Reflx.