Samsung spin off Iofit launches smart shoes for golfers on Kickstarter

Golf shoes shift the tracking focus on balance and will offer video coaching
Iofit smart shoes head to Kickstarter

Salted Venture, a spin-off startup from Samsung's experimental C-Lab, has brought its Iofit smart golf shoes to Kickstarter.

They're designed to improve golfers' balance and weight shift in real time in order to give you a smoother, more reliable stroke and greater swing power. The Early Bird price for any of the sizes, style and colours is $209 ($189 Super Early Bird) for one pair (RRP $399) with shipping set for February 2017. Salted Venture are looking to raise a modest $30,000 target.

Designed for coaches and individuals, each shoe is packed with sensors in the outsole so there's no impact on the fit or comfort. That's also where you'll find the Bluetooth transmitter to send tracking data wirelessly to your iOS or Android smartphone/tablet.

Read this: Iofit smart golf shoes first look review

Those motion and pressure sensors are able to measure force at multiple points, which combine to determine aspects like balance, weight shift, location of centre of gravity, ground contact force and more.

Users will also be able to see data on step count, duration and distance. In real time, you'll also be able to see more complex metrics like weight shift, feet pressure map, ground contact force and feet tempo. There's support for video comparisons and coaching software letting you see a summary of swing form, along with recommendations of customised training videos to give you a helping hand.

The washable smart shoes should offer around 7 - 10 days battery life with support for wireless charging. The built-in battery also knows when the shoes are not in use to help preserve battery life.

The smart shoes were shown off at MWC 2016 in Barcelona alongside a slightly cheaper fitness version for gym lovers. We got a chance to see try them out and check out the companion app. We haven't golfed with them yet but the good news is they're comfortable and you don't see the sensors. The app, which shows data collected from under the feet, is responsive as you change the pressure. Since then, the shoes have been beta tested in fitness centres.

Read this: Forget the wrist and smarten up the shoes

Smartening up the shoe is becoming a bit of a wearable trend in 2016 with US sports giant Under Armour having already launched its Speedform Gemini 2 connected running shoes, while Nike has filed a patent for its own smart shoe.

If you're wondering why balance is such a big deal for gym workouts and going for a round of golf, Jacob Cho, CEO of Salted Venture breaks down its significance.

"Balance is an essential aspect of all fitness workouts and golf swing mechanism," Cho said. "Without it, there is greater exposure to injury and wasteful energy consumption, making fitness workouts a lot less effective and dangerous. For golf, proper balance and weight shift is crucial to generate club head speed and power. We wanted to solve this problem not just with our guts, but with actual data telling us how we are performing."

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