Crumb Trail
     an impermanent travelogue
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Thursday, January 19, 2006

. . . that's very unusual, but it may be less so in near future.

By using a laser foot scanner to create a 3D computer model of a person’s feet, the ERGOSHOE system bridges the design gap between shoe manufacturers and customers, allowing shoe comfort to be improved efficiently and at relatively low cost in the mass market, and in niche markets such as healthcare and worker footwear. . .

“Traditional shoe manufacturing business models are not designed for personalised treatment but rather mass production,” notes ERGOSHOE coordinator Enrique Montiel at INESCOP in Spain. “With our system to create digital foot models, we have made personalised treatment more feasible.”

In the mass market, the system would primarily help manufacturers better adapt their designs to their customers at large while vendors could use the scanner and 3D model analysis to direct customers to shoes that best fit their feet. It would also allow customised shoes to be produced for individual clients, which Montiel estimates would only cost around 10 to 20 per cent more than a mass produced pair. The hardware and software costs between 6,000 and 15,000 euros to implement.

I wear out several pairs of boots a year in my field work. I'm amazed that I still have feet after all the miles I've put on them, especially since boots never actually fit, you just break them in - a process that uses my poor feet to subtly reshape the boot. If these were available I'd buy several pair at once and hopefully get a volume discount. I often get two pair at a time since two pairs wear like three when you alternate them, allowing more time for the boots to properly rest and dry out.

posted by back40 | 1/19/2006 09:49:00 PM


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