The Shoepod Diabetic could prevent tens of thousands of foot amputations a year, according to its developer. The insert, which uses smart fabric technology from a New Zealand company, Zephyr, constantly monitors the temperature across the foot, stores that data, analyzes it for certain patterns and can transmit it wirelessly. By monitoring changes in temperature, the Shoepod should be able to pick up the early warning signs of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy, which effects sensation in the limbs. The big problem with this disorder: If people incur an injury to their foot, they might not feel pain, and an ulcer can develop. If left untreated, an infection can develop, spread, and eventually require amputation. Trials are starting in the US soon.—Gregory Mone
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.