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Through shoes, Electroskip transforms music into therapy

"It's motivating them to walk and to move because they create music from the movement."

BUFFALO, N.Y. — You have heard of music to your ears but what about music from your feet.

Electroskip is a local start-up company that operates out of Science Hall at Canisius College. 

The company has designed soon-to-be patented technology that allows shoes to make music. 

The designs have sensors on the toe and heel of a shoe that allows someone to make music as they move.

The product was created with dancers in mind to spice up performances. The shoes were used by breakdancers in campus shows.

"We worked with some dedicated dancers who could see some entertainment potential" Electroskip co-founder Jamie O'Neil said.

However, it didn't take long before the start-up realized it could have an even greater purpose. 

O'Neil told 2 On Your Side that a physical therapist and breakdancer who used the product realized it could help people with walking disabilities. 

After completing a six-week study on a patient with Parkinson's, the team discovered there could be medical benefits to the product.

"If my gait was affected by Parkinson's I would shuffle my feet when I walk like that, and you hear that it doesn't make much pattern, you only get sound every so often. What we realized is if you trigger a part of each sensor when a person starts walking, it makes a pattern," O'Neil said.  

The technology can tell how much pressure a person is putting on each foot and allows a physical therapist to increase the tempo to have a patient try to walk faster.

"It's motivating them to walk and to move because they create music from the movement" O'Neil said.  

Electroskip is currently working with local colleges to research if these shoes can help people with walking disabilities. 

They are also applying for grants to help manufacture the product and hopefully change a life.

The company is currently up for the Fed-Ex small business grant. 

You can vote for the company here


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