IMPACT Indicator

Stanford University, 2001 - $14,000

Shoes should be replaced when they can no longer provide adequate cushioning; using a shoe beyond its useful life greatly increases the user's risk of impact-related injuries. The Impact Indicator, developed by this Stanford University E-Team, is incorporated into a shoe and monitors use of the shoe and displays its remaining life. The concept is similar to that of the Oral-B Indicator found on toothbrushes, but for running shoes.

The indicator system consists of mechanical hardware, and electronics and software, which reside on a microprocessor. A signal is produced when the user's foot compresses the cushioning mechanism in the sole of the shoe with each step. Runners and other active persons who rely on their shoe equipment to be in top shape can use this product to ensure they are using a safe shoe. The team filed for an international patent and researched a sticker-sized version of the product for distribution directly to the consumer.