Smart Cooling Sports ShoesFollow project
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Smart Cooling Sports Shoes
Located near the equator with a tropical rainforest climate, Singapore has a relatively high temperature ranging from 23 to 33ºC and a mean humidity of 83.9% throughout the year (Meteorological Service Singapore, 2020). Meanwhile, according to SingHealth reports, Singaporeans are becoming more and more active in physical exercise over decades (Wong, 2016). These factors give rise to physical problems related to perspiration of human beings. For instance, beriberi, which is also called ‘Singapore foot’, is one of the most common skin infections in Singapore, particularly among teenagers and young adults (National Skin Centre, 2016). Once someone is infected, warm and wet surroundings would make great contributions to the reproduction and growth of fungus, and then accelerate deterioration. Thus, the health issue should be emphasized to relieve feet of moisture and stuffiness while enjoying sports.
Normally covered shoe materials are usually airtight, blocking air to flow and increasing the heat inside. When the temperature rises, our feet sweat. It is difficult to vaporize as the footwear materials cannot let sweat escape to the surroundings, thus affecting comfort. Moreover, fungus will grow when sweat accumulates. As a result, foot diseases such as beriberi occur, which will eventually affect the heart and circulatory system if not dealt with in time (Healthline, 2018). Even sports shoes with higher air permeability cannot stop feet from sweating, especially in high-temperature seasons, let alone the weather in Singapore. Thus, it is necessary to improve the current shoes design to prevent feet from sweating and therefore preclude the possibility of getting foot diseases.
The proposed product is called ‘Smart Cooling Sports Shoes’, which aims to provide a constant cool temperature inside the sports shoes while maintaining comfort as traditional ones. The main difference between the ‘Smart Cooling Sports Shoes’ and ordinary shoes is that they contain a cooling system. As shown in figure 1, a vapour compression cycle is used to absorb heat and cool down the internal environment just like a common fridge (Araner, 2018). The flexible evaporator tubes containing refrigerant are placed inside the whole vamp to ensure three-dimensional cooling. Additionally, the product also contains a mini electron generator and an integrated circuit. The generator inside the sole is compressed and released as the user constantly steps and lifts their legs while walking so there is no need to charge it or change batteries. Besides, this mechanism can also provide extra cushion to improve comfort. The generator connects the integrated circuit which is at the outer side of the shoes and acts as a temperature-controlling switch to command the cooling system. Users can easily know the inside temperature through a mini digital screen attached to the circuit. In a word, this new product can keep the inside environment cool to reduce the possibility of catching beriberi. It is also as comfortable as normal sports shoes and can be very convenient since no external power is needed.
Figure 1. Mechanism Schematic Diagram
Figure 2a. General Profile of the cooling principle of the Product
Figure 2b. General Profile of the energy source of the Product
Figure 2c. General appearance of the Product
Smart Cooling Sports Shoes would be beneficial to both individuals with or without beriberi by creating a cool environment in the shoes, which can prevent fungus growth to a great extent, and thus, inhibit beriberi. The integrated circuit allows users to adjust the temperature themselves to a comfortable level according to different preferences and varying conditions. Furthermore, the shoes are energy-efficient and sustainable with self-charging functions. Generator in the sole converts feet's up and down movements to electricity supplying cooling equipment, which contributes to energy saving while maintaining the elasticity of sole required by sports shoes.
To produce these Smart Cooling Shoes, we need the following:
- Collaborate with Kinetron which develops and produces smart high-tech electric generators to manufacture the micro-generator.
- Assemble a team of electronic engineers to develop an integrated circuit with a temperature-controlling switch and a digital screen to control the whole system.
- Test general power supply capacity, cooling efficiency and temperature control precision of the integrated product.
Although there are many Singaporeans suffering from beriberi, the disease actually can be restrained. With Smart Cooling Sports Shoes, not only the temperature around the feet can be lowered efficiently to preclude the growth of fungus, users’ wearing experience can also be enhanced. Thus, there is no need to worry about beriberi or other foot diseases while enjoying outdoor activities.
Araner. (2018). The Vapor Compression Refrigeration Cycle, Step by Step. Retrieved 15 September 2020 from https://www.araner.com/blog/vapor-compression-refrigeration-cycle/
Badii, C. (2018, September 17). Beriberi. Retrieved 15 September 2020 from https://www.healthline.com/health/beriberi
Kinetron. (2018). Smart Generator Technology. Retrieved 15 September 2020 from https://www.kinetron.eu/smart-generators
Meteorological Service Singapore. (2020). Climate of Singapore. Retrieved 15 September 2020 from http://www.weather.gov.sg/climate-climate-of-singapore/
National Skin Centre. (2016, October 31). Fungal Infections. Retrieved 15 September 2020 from https://www.nsc.com.sg/Patient-Guide/Health-Library/Types%20of%20Skin%20Conditions/Pages/Fungal-Infections.aspx
Wong, L. (2016). Singaporeans now more active. Retrieved 15 September 2020 from https://www.healthxchange.sg/news/singaporeans-now-more-active