Yonathan Manor’s father was the inspiration for his latest invention, the B-Shoe, a shoe that promotes stability and stops wearers from falling.
A biomechanical engineer, Manor was concerned when his aging father, like millions of elderly persons worldwide, started struggling with mobility and began to fall a lot. So he decided to do something about it.
Working with physiotherapists and doctors, Manor theorized that when people age, they lose the ability to keep themselves stable and as a result are unable to make the minor adjustments needed to prevent falls.
Digging out the heel from an old sneaker for his first prototype, Manor joined with electronic engineer partners Abraham Stamper and Aharon Shapiro to develop a system that corrects an elderly person’s gait.
“We built prototypes of shoes that can save lives,” Stamper said of the design that has been six years in development.
He also explained how the B-Shoe works. “The main electronic mechanism is in the heel, and the rechargeable battery will be embedded in the sole along with the pressure sensors,” Stamper explained. “The sensors can detect that the center of pressure is going beyond the back line of support. If there is no reaction from the wearer for more than a few milliseconds, the shoes begin moving backwards five to seven centimeters until stability is regained.”
Manor and the B-Shoe team has already secured patent for its products in both Israel and the United States and has launched a crowd-funding campaign to get the financing needed to bring the high-tech shoe to market.
If all goes well, the B-Shoe may be available in the US and Israeli markets in as little as two years, helping to keep seniors, and others with stability issues, safer.