Apparently I’m not only a slow runner, but also a lopsided one. The running shoe company Altra is currently shipping a smart shoe that includes an app for iOS and Droid. During a one hour run I was able to see that my left foot was hitting harder in the heel and staying on the ground longer than my right. That could explain why on longer faster runs my left knee gives out first. All it took was a phone coupled to the Altra IQ shoes to obtain run data.
The Altra IQ provides the usual data about cadence, pace and distance which are of course included with the app. Those options would be standard for any fitness tracker. However, the fun part is observing how the left and right foot differ from each other when reviewing the shoe impact and accelerometer data.
Landing Zone (midfoot-strike) (88% L | 96% R)
Ground Contact Time (340ms L | 328 ms R)
AVG Impact Rate (553 L | 530 R)
Altra has hit a home run in terms of being the first in making a friendly shoe that looks completely normal, but is in fact loaded with cutting edge technology. There are a few things I would have liked to have been able to do with this product which are not available right now:
Droid based iFit account creation (I had to use iOS for that step) when coupling to the shoes for the first time.
A way to overlay elevation data with landing zone, ground contact time and average impact rate. I suspect going up and down hills would change what my feet are doing. In the meantime I can record separate sections going uphill, downhill and flats and see what those look like.
Force sync options – I’m struggling to push data from the App to iFit’s site to see other possible views.
Raw data – At this time there is no raw data to download which would be fun to make my own graphs with. A CSV file, XML or something easy to parse would be ideal.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.