Walking in Their Shoes

An important issue to address

There are so many devastating tragedies caused by a fall, especially as you get older. This was a project close to my heart after what happened with my grandfather. The elderly usually have existing chronic issues that wouldn’t really affect their daily lives in normal circumstances, but when a fall happens, things spiral.

WiTS looked into creating a device that would detect a fall and enable any family member or caretaker to be notified. This project brought people’s attention to a serious yet often unnoticed problem. The main objective of WiTS was to allow the sole of a shoe to detect a person’s fall through angles of their feet and pressure on the sole using an accelerometer and Pressure Sensitive Resistor.

The project started with studying existing products and use cases. Then, challenges and issues needed to be addressed were brainstormed and identified. Through different storyboards, low and high fidelity prototypes, I was able to present an idea of a solution to the issue. Final prototypes involved physical computing using Arduino, different fabrication prototyping and iOS App interface design and coding.

Many obstacles were encountered during the process, both in creating a physical electronic prototype and in deciphering how to accurately detect falls. Due to the timeframe of the project, simulations were produced to deliver the concept of WiTS.

Project Owner: Ting Chih Wang
Project report: full report
Year: 2015