Now I’ve heard of almost everything. GTX Corp was recently awarded three patents that cover GPS location devices embedded in footwear. Although it appears most of the applications are in running shoes for now, it’s not much of a stretch to imagine hiking boots with integrated GPS chips in the near future…
The GTX technology transmits location data for tracking purposes and in a hiking context this could be used much like a Spot satellite messenger. Personally I think I’d prefer to have a device that can transmit location data AND be used for navigation on the ground and a shoe-based platform isn’t really suited for that.
We’re still scratching our heads about why you’d want a GPS in your shoe anyway. There are plenty of other places a GPS can be attached to a person (in a watch, for example) that are more accessible and less prone to water/dust intrusion. Nike has had success with their foot pod but that’s just a pedometer and not location aware. Now if we’re tracking mental patients or prisoners instead of hikers, maybe there’s a use for a (covert) shoe based tracking device! 🙂
Here’s a video from the GTX CEO hyping the concept: