Zhor-Tech, a Nancy, France-based electronics company that is focused on footwear, presented its latest innovations at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week.
Some of its offerings include built-in heated soles, removable heated insoles (through its sister brand Digitsole), worker activity tracking and health management assessments.
Karim Oumnia, the engineer who founded the firm in 2014, showcased one of its most cutting-edge products — footwear with medical mobility monitoring. The embedded electronics within the shoes measure 12 parameters that constitute the walking profile of a person, including balance, step length, cadence, speed and impact force.
“There are hundreds of medical studies that prove that there is a direct relation between the gait analysis and many neurological diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, sclerosis and others,” Oumnia explained. “[With our technology], footwear will become a tool to detect a risk of disease and send a warning message to the person to visit a doctor due to the mobility disorder detected by the shoe.”
He said the company’s goal from the beginning has been to license its technology to footwear brands instead of going direct-to-consumer. And by developing its own microprocessors, Zhor-Tech has reduced the cost for a brand to license its embeddable electronics to only $5 per pair. “For the end consumer it will be $25 to $30 more at retail,” he explained.
Shoe brands have already partnered with Zhor-Tech to help them stand out in the market with unique bells and whistles.
Canadian brand Dakota has incorporated the company’s products into its line of workwear shoes, and safety footwear labels Uvex and Elten are also adaptors of the protection technology.
The luxury market is embracing smart tech, too. Jimmy Choo tapped Zhor-Tech to develop its Voyager boot, which debuted last year. It boasts rechargeable (via USB) heated soles that can range from 77 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit, controlled by its branded app, which Zhor-Tech also produces for its clients.