People suffering from sensory and motor-skills disabilites may one day walk a bit smoother with SensaStep, an assisted walking device that fits inside any shoe and signals the brain when the foot touches the ground.
SensaStep system consists of a conductive foam insole embedded with pressure sensors, an ankle-strapped transmitter, and a receiver that slips over the ear. When the heel or toe hits the ground, the transmitter sends signals to the earpiece that causes it to vibrate and stimulate the cochlear nerve. The vibrations are perceived as tones, which allows the user to know which part of their foot is touching the ground.
The foot-contact tones allow the user to walk without needing to look down and watch their steps, allowing for safer and more natural movement.