Meet SXSW's 8 Hottest MedTech Startups - Plantiga
North Vancouver, Canada – based Plantiga wants to hack your shoes. “People don't wear shoes that are good for them because they're really, really ugly,” said company CEO Quin Sandler. Plantiga's Suspnd shoe technology is a suspension system inside the shoe that transfers weight and shock around the perimeter of the shoe rather than the sole. This cancels out direct impact on the bottom of the foot and creates improved stability in the wearer. “With our technology you are literally walking on air,” Sandler said. "It's not an insole, but a whole new way of designing a shoe." This improved stability can be of benefit to everyone from athletes to patients with plantar faciitis (jogger's heel), diabetic neuropathy, or other conditions that make walking difficult. “We are not saying we're going to eliminate pain or heal pain, but we're going to a go a long way to make people live better lives.” Sandler said.
The shoes also supply metrics on weight transfer, distribution, and other movement patterns as well as location for monitoring via a variety of smartphone and computer apps.
Plantiga's goal is to launch its footwear first as a niche, controlled brand. The footwear will not be sold via prescription and thus will not require FDA approval. The shoes are currently in the prototype phase and the company plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign and beta run in summer 2014