Galaxy Sports are planning the launch of a new range of “smart” running shoes that take advantage of emerging technologies such as Internet of Things sensors and artificial intelligence. At the centre of this, Galaxy has chosen Vmoso to organise communication and knowledge sharing between Galaxy and its suppliers, within Galaxy, and between Galaxy and its customers.
Galaxy Sports is a manufacturer of sportswear, with running shoes representing its largest market. Galaxy’s product management team are planning the launch of a new range of “smart” running shoes that take advantage of emerging technologies such as Internet of Things sensors and artificial intelligence.
At the centre of this, Galaxy has chosen Vmoso to organise communication and knowledge sharing between Galaxy and its suppliers, within Galaxy, and between Galaxy and its customers.
A selected group of Galaxy customers have been selected to test a prototype of the new running shoe. To support the trial, a community for the early adopters has been created on Vmoso.
Here, Galaxy product managers can interact with the trial participants, analyse data received from the shoes’ sensors, and discuss appropriate actions.
Galaxy have also engaged a professional physiotherapist, Marion, to participate in the trial and engage with the early adopters.
Marion is also involved in the other initiative linked to the new product launch, Galaxy’s “Smart Physio”. This is an artificial intelligence powered agent which delivers personalized recommendations to each member of the trial via private Vmoso channels, based on the data collected from the sensors in their shoes, and aggregated data from the wider trial community. Marion uses her domain expertise to help train the Smart Physio’s recommendations.
Vmoso also hosts all the communication and collaboration between Galaxy and Sportex, the main supplier of the shoes’ materials. This includes both freeform, unstructured communication for general discussion, and more structured business processes for tracking and accountability of formal change requests.
Todd is a loyal Galaxy customer, so was invited to become a member of the early adopter community. He’s been using the prototype shoes for his daily run every day this week, and his feet are suffering from blisters in a way they never did with his previous Galaxy shoes.
He reports this problem to the community, and finds that he’s not the only one suffering in this way.
Nancy in the Galaxy product management team is obviously concerned by these reports. But thanks to the tracking devices in the shoes, she’s able to get a much clearer picture of what’s going on.
She has been receiving daily reports in Vmoso of aggregated data from the trial users, but she can now dig into the detailed data for the runners who’ve reported the problem.
It quickly becomes apparent that the sensors are reporting a higher than expected temperature inside the shoe for all the runners suffering from blisters.
Sportex have actually provided two different versions of the shoe made with different textiles, and Nancy sees that all the shoes exhibiting higher temperatures are using textile variant A.
Nancy gets in contact with her Sportex contact, Howard, about this. Howard suggests that Nancy makes a formal request to stop manufacturing the variant A shoes, and switch to variant B.
Nancy initiates a change request process in Vmoso to do this. Before reaching Sportex, this needs to be approved by Nancy’s manager, Amber.
But before Amber agrees to this, she asks Nancy to find out more about how the runners using variant B are getting on.
The data looks good, but Nancy wants to get feedback from the runners themselves.
The replies she gets are surprising – several of the runners report that their shoes are already showing significant signs of wear. It looks like variant B doesn’t suffer from the overheating problem, but is a lot less resilient than variant A.
Nancy recommends to Amber that she declines the previous request. Instead, she initiates a new process to request Sportex work to address the overheating problem in variant A.
A couple of weeks later, Sportex and Galaxy have an updated prototype for the runners to try. Todd has been using the new shoe for a couple of days and has suffered no recurrence of the blisters.
Nancy is keeping a close watch on the sensor data and sees that the overheating problem does appear to have been resolved.
The more Todd uses the shoes, the more data is collected from the sensors, and Galaxy’s Smart Physio is able to start making recommendations.
Marion has been training the Smart Physio to recognise patterns relating to running style. She notes that some of the group of early adopters have a running style where the heel of the leading foot hits the ground first, combined with a wide stride pattern. This can lead to shin splits and heel damage, so Marion trains the Smart Physio to recognise this, and the recommended corrective action.
Automated analysis of the daily data from Todd’s shoes shows that he’s guilty of this style of running, even though he’s never associated it with some of the pain he feels after running. The Smart Physio makes recommendations, and shows Todd a video of how to correct the running style.
That makes sense to Todd, but he worries that when he’s out running, it would be really easy for him to slip back into old habits. So he asks the Smart Physio to warn him if he’s doing it. As Todd runs, the Smart Physio makes an audible notification when he slips back into his old running style.
As the end of the run, Todd asks how he did – the Smart Physio is able to show how Todd started well, but as he tired, the old pattern came back. It suggests that Todd considers shorter runs until he’s adapted his running style, and offers to recommend a personalised training pattern for Todd over the next week.
With Vmoso at the centre of Galaxy’s communication and collaboration, the launch of the new range of shoes is a huge success.
Bringing together product managers, suppliers, customers, data from smart sensors and artificial intelligence-powered agents around one digital transformation hub means that product development issues are reported, analyzed and acted upon rapidly, increasing product quality and reducing the time to market.
Engaging with customers both person-to-person and via AI creates a compelling customer experience, leading to greater brand loyalty and repeat sales.