Andrew Carle, an expert in “nana-technology,” was interviewed about his work. Carle researches senior-care issues at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., where he serves as an executive-in-residence to students and faculty in the College of Health and Human Services. He has worked with companies like Apple, Nintendo and now GTX Corp.
Carle introduced the idea of developing a GPS shoe for the senior market and sunsiquently GTX corp connect with Aetrex Worldwide, a specialty shoe-and-orthotics manufacturer. In December, the partnership unveiled the Aetrex Navistar GPS Footwear System, a simple and effective $299 walking shoe with GTX’s GPS transmitter and receiver embedded in the heel of the shoe. It's a pair of quality comfort walking shoes and a monitoring device which allows caregivers to go online to create a virtual fence and receive alerts to their cell phone when the wearer leaves the area. The product makes sense because most people that wander off will put their shoes on first.
GTX Corp was founded in 2002 by veteran software developer Patrick Bertagna. In 2011, the company reported nearly $700,000 in revenue, mostly from sales of tracking apps for smartphones and licensing fees for a system it designed for a global shipping company to track scientific materials. Originally, GTX planned to market to parents concerned about their childrens’ safety after the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping. Businessweek quoted Bertagna as saying, “But I was overwhelmed by the statistics Andrew Carle shared with me. I realized this was a real problem and there was a perfect opportunity to launch into a big market and do something really good for society.”
The article noted that Carle is also happy with the partnership. “If it hadn’t come up that GTX had developed a technology for shoes, I would have invented it,” he said.
The shoes can help save lives, deliver peace of mind to caregivers and is part of a large market. According to Businessweek, the market for technology designed to assist seniors is expected to reach $20 billion by 2020, quoting Laurie Orlov, founder of research firm Aging in Place Technology Watch.
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