There are all kinds of activity trackers out there, but in many cases these devices just can’t provide the proper data. Once a person starts using a cane, for example, monitoring their movements throughout the day becomes difficult when using a wrist-worn tracker. Researchers at the University of Malaga in Spain have now developed a high tech cane that provide a lot of important data while not requiring the user to do anything about it.
The cane uses two pressure sensors to measure how much weight is placed on the cane and in what direction, and each step is recorded in minute detail. The pressure sensors are integrated into the tip and don’t change the feel of the cane, allowing the users to continue walking with their cane as before.
It has a wireless charger and connects via Bluetooth to a smartphone to quickly collect the data it has gathered.
One hope for the device is that it will allow healthcare professionals to monitor elderly patients while motivating higher activity levels.
The researchers have made all the designs, including the electronic diagrams, and the software that powers the system, available freely and openly online.
Here’s a short video released by the University of Malaga giving a glimpse at the new cane: