This Article is About
image recognition software
necessary measurements
digital models
custom orthotics
smartphone
mold
wrong way
Orthotics, Orthopedics, Insoles
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It is now possible to buy orthotics pretty much anywhere and at any time. All one needs is a smartphone and an internet connection. The process has been, in the past mostly offline, at a doctor’s office, or some place in the house where it’s not as bad if a pretty extensive mess is made. When it comes to ordering custom orthotics, what the manufacturer needs (aside from your money) are the measurements of your feet. Now these measurements are not just the length, width and height, but also the arch height, the heel size and all of the other smaller measurements that are just too difficult to get via one’s handy old measuring ruler.

In order to gain the necessary measurements, after taking the step to buy insoles, the manufacturer would then forward to the customer a mold. That mold would then be used by the individual in question to make an impression of their feet and it is that impression which would be used in the process of fitting the insoles to their unique geometry. However, in the past, those molds could be quite messy, relying on materials which were either untidy to work with, or required one shot. If one were to press one’s feet into the mold in just the wrong way, one would have to start over again from the beginning.

However, this is no longer the case. Particularly with the dissemination of that one bit of technology in every other person’s pocket these days, the smartphone. It has now gotten to the point where the process to buy orthotics can be accomplished entirely via the smartphone, no molds, no waiting, just a few clicks, and you’re done. The process is as follows, picture one’s feet, submit photos, pay. That’s it. Then it’s just the time it takes for the insoles to arrive.

The quality of the cameras on phones has arrived at a point where their photos can be analyzed by an image recognition software to create digital models of what they are picturing. In the case of orthotics, a picture of a foot can then be digitalized and rendered into a three dimensional model. After which, that model is forwarded off to a three dimensional printer, and printed line by line, column by column into a usable physical model. It is that model which is used to design the actual insole. Those technologies make it easier than ever to buy orthotics.


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