LAS VEGAS — Athletic socks used to be something you’d pick up last minute at the sporting goods store, kind of an afterthought.
But that’s no longer the case. Now, everything is measured. Today, Sensoria — a Redmond-based startup that describes itself as a leader in artificial intelligence sportswear — unveiled what it is dubbing “Sock 2.0.”
This high-tech sock — made of antibacterial, anti-blistering and sweat wicking material — is designed to measure core metrics such as cadence, foot landing and the impact forces exerted by runners. It also tracks how far and fast you’ve run, pretty cool features for runners.
But one thing that might scare off average weekend warriors: The price of $199.
The company said the new smart socks feature better textile pressure sensors, which are protected from sweat and water. The socks also connect to the company’s iOS app, Sensoria Run 2.0, which provides runners with instructions on how to run farther and faster from the company’s artificial intelligence coach, Mara.
“Sensoria Sock 2.0 can also stream data in real-time and store distance running statistics for more than a month, allowing users to exercise without their smartphone,” Sensoria CEO Davide Vigano tells GeekWire.
Even so, $199 is pretty steep for a pair of socks.
Vigano said that the socks are designed for professional athletes and serious distance runners who need the additional features.
“We’ve received great, constructive feedback on our current smart socks and are proud to offer an upgraded version that not only has improved comfort and breathability, but also offers more precise metrics to athletes who want to take their running to the next level,” said Vigano, a former Microsoft manager who co-founded the company in 2010.
What if the socks wear out or get too stinky?
Sensoria plans to offer an optional monthly subscription, which includes delivery of two additional pairs of smart socks during the year, access to a new web dashboard and Sensoria Run 2.0 app training plans.
Vigano said the subscription pricing has not yet been set.
In addition to the new version of the smart socks, Sensoria today announced a partnership to embed its wearable Sensoria Core technology with running shoe company Vivobarefoot. That shoe — designed to minimize injuries to runners — will debut at CES. Pricing has not yet been set.
“Through our partnership with Sensoria, we are now able to provide real time transition advice to our customers and the visual proof of the incredible sensory feedback loop between your feet and your brain,” said Galahad Clark, CEO and founder of Vivobarefoot. “With the Internet of Me quickly redefining what consumers are looking for in a product, we are extremely proud to provide a system that offers quality biometric data to help researchers, coaches, everyday runners and athletes identify and correct poor habits.”
Sensoria had a huge presence at the Consumer Electronics Show last year, and it appears to be back again in a big way in 2017. The company also makes smart garments for athletes, including running tops and sport bras. It raised $5 million in venture funding in 2014.
Here’s a look at the new smart shoe concept, which is expected to be released later in 2017.