Frequently asked questions:
1. For which target group can the smart sock be used?
We developed the smart sock for people who experience difficulties with spoken language and whose communicative behaviour may be complex to understand. Since the size of the sock can be adapted, the smart sock is suitable for all ages. So far, we have tested the smart sock with children with Prader-Willi Syndrome, and children and adults with severe/profound intellectual disabilities.
2. Does the smart sock work well for everyone?
The measurement of skin conductance is universal, so in theory the smart sock will work for everyone. We advise against using the smart sock with people with diseases that affect the central nervous system (for example MS), since we are not aware of what effect the disease has on the sock's skin conductance measurement.
Some people with severe/profound intellectual disabilities find it unpleasant to wear the small band around the ankle. So, it could happen that a client objects to wearing the sock.
3. Can the smart sock be worn with shoes?
The smart sock can be treated like a normal sock, and can be worn with shoes. It is possible that the smart sock's snap fasteners that connect the sensor to the sock, get in between the shoe and the wearer's leg, and cause discomfort. This can occur for shoes that close high on the ankle, like orthopedic shoes. In our experience, the smart sock can be comfortably worn in most shoes, including most orthopedic shoes.
4. Are you allowed to walk around while wearing the smart sock?
Walking around while wearing the smart sock does not present any risks for the wearer of the sock. It does however influence the skin conductance measurements, and therefore the flower can no longer reliably reflect arousal. The best results are achieved when one is sitting or lying down.
5. Can the smart sock measure arousal for people who sweat excessively or sweat hardly at all?
The smart sock is not influenced by the amount of sweat that generally is present. Everyone has a baseline of skin conductance. This baseline varies per day and even during the day. One can think of the difference between a warm summer's day or a cold winter day, but also daily activities like exercising or eating influence the baseline. The smart sock measures the alterations from the baseline. The app calibrates the skin conductance data, and by doing so, it takes into account the influences of daily life (exercising, eating, etc).
6. Can the smart sock be used when you are sleeping?
The smart sock can be used when sleeping. Instead of responses to stimuli or thougths, the reaction to dreams are measured. Also the level of arousal is measured during sleep. Skin conductance is one of many measures that is used in sleep studies. However, we do not have any experience using the smart sock while sleeping, therefore we cannot indicate what exactly is measured during sleep.
7. Can someone who has epilepsy use the smart sock as well?
People with epilepsy can use the smart sock as well. Skin conductance is one of the measures used to predict epileptic seizures. However, the smart sock cannot predict epileptic seizures. Wearing the smart sock during a seizure does not cause any risk for the wearer of the sock. Epileptic seizures do influence the skin conductance measurements, therefore the flower does not reliably reflect the arousal levels during a seizure.
8. Can the smart sock measure pain?
The current version of the Bioresponse system cannot measure pain. Skin conductance can be used though to measure pain. Helen Korving studies how the smart sock can be used for pain measurement. For more information on her research or the use of the smart sock for pain measurement, please take a look at: https://www.embenict.nl/wat-doen-we/emb-pijn-app.html.
Is your question not addressed on this page?
Feel free to contact the researcher with your question:
Eindhoven University of Technology
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Department of Industrial Design
Department of Behavioural and Movement Sciences
Future Everyday group
Clinical Child andFamily Studies section