Nottingham, a UK-based developer of smart textiles, Footfalls & Heartbeats, has developed a knitted shoe upper that can calculate gait in a person, whether walking or running. The uppers of the built-in shoe sensor are made on a Santoni X machine.

Kiwi founder Simon McMaster commented on the latest development: “A sneak peek of knitted shoes, created by the brilliant knitting team at Footfalls. These shoes created on a Santoni X machine, knitted in under 12 minutes per shoe, are able to calculate gait and footfall whether walking or running.

“No embedded electronics just knitted textile sensors that measure pressure and then relay that true on body movement to a UI of choice. Real steps, extraordinary innovation using state-of-the-art knitting technology.”

Footfalls & Heartbeats was founded by  New Zealand chemit simon McMaster who brings many years of experience researching smart textiles. The company has developed a revolutionary and proprietary process for making smart fabric that uses nano-scale interactions within the textile to make the fabric itself a sensor, avoiding the need for wires or miniature electronics.

Footfalls and Heartbeats moved from New Zealand to the UK in 2015 where it thrived in Nottingham, the home of knitting weft. Starting with a small team in the Jubilee Campus Ingenuity Building, Footfalls has recently moved into a larger space within BioCity ‘s Innovation Building.

Footfalls and Heartbeats moving to BioCity allowed a space to house a specialized Santoni circular knitting machine that is capable of knitting intarsia, which is vital to the technology’s function.

This machine is the first of its kind in the UK and will soon be accompanied by more knitting machines as the size of Footfalls and Heartbeats increases over the coming years.