Originally Posted by motionmetrics
As for lateral pressure distribution, our current prototypes actually have 48 independent pressure sensors per foot so we can have fairly detailed information about both fore/aft and lateral pressure distributions!
Given that, there's another very intriguing possible application for your device:
One of the biggest challenges facing racers, and skiers generally, is dialing in boot alignment. It's currently more art than science, as evidenced by the fact that, even on the World Cup, with all their expertise, technicians struggle with getting boot alignment done correctly. But proper boot alignment is critical for skiers, since skiing is all about balance, both laterally and fore-aft. Boot alignment can be approximated in the shop, but the real test is assessing the skier on the snow. I'm therefore wondering if it would be possible to use your device to optimize skier alignment.
This could be quite tricky. The first step would be to sample skiers who are generally considered to be in good alignment, and those who are not, and see if there are correlations between their state of alignment and their pressure distribution functions ("PDFs") (how their pressure distributions change with turn phase). Of course, you might find that there is not one PDF associated with good alignment, but a few characteristic PDFs, say one for people with supinated feet, one for pronators, etc. (I'm just speculating here). Anyways, the idea would be to use the PDFs to determine the direction in which to go for sole canting, binding delta, etc. A professional bootfitter might also be able to use this to help build a proper orthotic. The whole business is complicated, so it will take a lot of investigation to figure out to what extent your device can or can't assist in this.
And if we really want to venture into blue-sky territory , maybe a few years from now you'll be able to make binding plates with motorized adjustable cant and delta. Then, after dialing in all other aspects of alignment (cuff lateral and forward lean angles, bootboard zeppas, footbeds, etc.), the shop will send the skier out on a pair of skis outfitted with these, and your device will interact with the plates to run through a program designed to vary/optimize cant and delta as the skier skis. The fitter will then download the results, confirm the PDF that gives the best alignment, and plane/lift the boots as needed.
Edited by chemist - 11/10/15 at 1:25pm