Digital Imaging Leads to Happier Feet

DN Staff

April 6, 2009

3 Min Read
Digital Imaging Leads to Happier Feet

eSoles, an Arizona-based company working to improve theworld's comfort, is the first to bring digital imaging technology straight tothe consumer in a product CEO Glen Hinshaw compares to Apple's iTunes.

The 3D TruCapture Kiosk Scanning System allows customers toreceive a 3-D image of their foot, which they can then use to buy the insole thatis right for them. The machine, which only takes about two to three minutes tooperate, uses a bio-dynamic air pillow for accuracy, touch-screen monitor, pressuremat, air bladder foot receiver and a white light 3-D image scanner, accordingto Hinshaw.

"It asks a series to questions about gender and the types ofactivities you participate in," Hinshaw says. "It maps both feet on both aweight- and non-weight-bearing scale."

Customers can then opt to purchase eSoles' eFit semi-customfootbeds in the store for about $70 or they can send their digital imagethrough the kiosk to eSoles' home office. There they will build ePro customfootbeds which are designed specifically for that customer's feet. That optioncosts $250 and the insole is received by the customer within a week.

Hinshaw says every image stored in the 3-D TruCapture Kiosk ScanningSystem is saved, so customers needing new insoles or insoles for differentpairs of shoes can access their information with the push of a button.

"Knowledge and research has shown you don't need to scanyour foot again, unless you have suffered an injury. It's very similar to theexperience you would get buying music on iTunes," he says. "With the eFit andthe ePro, consumers have the choice of the ultimate semi-custom or custom footsupport tailored to their budgets and needs."

According to Hinshaw, a world champion cyclist who competedin the Tour de France with the U.S. Postal Service Masters Cycling Team, severaltop Olympic and professional athletes wear eSoles' ePro custom footbeds. Amongthem are pro golfers, hockey players and Arizona Cardinals Linebacker Karlos Dansby.

"We were built by pro athletes, so we kind of have a highstandard," Hinshaw says.

The first kiosk is located in The Cycle Loft, a Burlington, MAbicycle shop, and more are expected to be shipped out throughout the year.

"Over the last 15 years I've tried so many differentfootbeds looking for that one that would consistently improve my cyclingcomfort and performance, but all proved disappointing in one way or another,"says Jeff Palter, president of The Cycle Loft. "When I first saw the eSoleskiosk ... I knew this was it, I simply had to have this machine in my store."

Hinshaw and his team started digital imaging in early 2004and brought their first product to the public in 2005, under the name FootFitting. The technology was similar, except it was not self-serve. The companyrelaunched in 2006 as eSoles.

The self-serve machine, which is still used in about 40locations throughout the U.S.,is a 24 x 18-inch box with the air bladder sitting on top. A laptop computerrecords the image of the foot. "It is placed in strategic locations based onqualified, trained people who can run it," says Hinshaw.

He says the idea for the kiosk was developed because he wasconstantly having trouble finding good insoles. "We couldn't get the productrepeated, so we invented it," he says.

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