GPS shoes help track people suffering from Alzheimer's
It's a heart-stopping moment when a caregiver for an Alzheimer's patient realizes their charge has wandered away. SmartPlanet's Sumi Das looks at new shoes from Aetrex that could help find them.
>> Sumi Das: Hello everyone and welcome to Sumi's Smart Picks. I'm Sumi Das and each week I'll tell you about a clever product that in one way or another helps makes our lives a little easier. My pick this week, GPS shoes from Aetrex. We're all familiar with GPS technology. It's in our cars and on our phones and now Aetrex has put it in a shoe. Why? They're designed to act as a safeguard for people living with Alzheimer's or dementia. The shoes are leather with polyurethane outsoles for traction. They also have small weights in each heel to help with stability. Aetrex has two styles to choose from. This is the men's lace-up and model. They also come in Velcro and both are available in women's sizes. The setup is pretty straight forward. You do have to charge them; just lift open this flap here and you're going to plug in the charger. You'll have to charge them for about two hours in order for them to be fully charged. And while you wait, you can check out the tracking website, which can also be accessed from your smart phone. The site shows the current location of the shoes as well as a log of past locations. Another useful feature, you can remotely check the status of the shoes and the battery level. One of our team members actually tried these on and said they were surprisingly comfortable and not as heavy as you might think, given the added electronics. We did notice the tracking was less accurate indoors, probably due to reduced signal strength, but since the idea is to track someone who may have wondered off during an afternoon stroll, that may not be much of an issue. There is a lot of technology tucked into these shoes and because of that you do pay a premium. Aetrex sells them for about three hundred dollars and there's also a thirty-five dollar monthly fee for the tracking service. The only hitch is you, of course, have to be wearing the shoes and they have to be charged. If the shoes are taken off, you're not going to be able to track down the person. Still, this is a brilliant idea. I can just imagine what a godsend these would be for caregivers of Alzheimer's patients as long as those patients are cooperative. As a parent of wondering toddlers, I'd love to see a version for kids too. So that's my pick for this week; the Aetrex GPS shoes. Check back next week for more. Music