Alphabet is exploring smart shoes that know when you fall

The health-focused wearable would also track movement and weight.

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Feifei Cui-Paoluzzo via Getty Images
Feifei Cui-Paoluzzo via Getty Images

Alphabet's Verily isn't done finding new places for its health-oriented wearable tech. CNBC sources claim the firm has developed prototype smart shoes that measure movement and weight, and could detect when you've fallen -- not a novel concept, but still relatively rare. These wouldn't be fitness shoes, then. Instead, they could track rapid weight gain (a sign of congestive heart failure) or send an alert if you take a tumble to the ground. That last part could be particularly helpful for people who have mobility issues but still want a degree of independence.

Whether or not they become a reality isn't clear. Verily has reportedly been looking for a co-partner to develop the shoes and has held private meetings to pitch the idea in "recent months." However, CNBC couldn't learn whether or not the project was still alive. We've asked Verily if it can comment.

It wouldn't be surprising if development on the shoes went forward -- they'd fit Verily's current strategy of developing relatively unobtrusive technology that can provide vital medical data. It would also be more realistic than an ambitious project like the recently cancelled glucose-monitoring contact lens. There would still be challenges, though. Verily would have to accommodate numerous shoe sizes, and might have to explore additional use cases to help justify development. You could be waiting a while even if the company finds its partner and moves forward.

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