Sneakers That Can Be Customized On The Go? Sweet!
With smart technology increasingly infiltrating all aspects of our lives it was only a matter of time before someone invented 'smart' shoes - Ones that can be customized at the owner's whim. Called ‘ShiftWear,' the animated sneakers are the brainchild of a team of entrepreneurs, futurists, and engineers led by New York-based designer David Coelho.
The adaptable shoes, which will be available as high, medium, and low tops can be customized using a smartphone app that is compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows devices. Shoe owners will have the option of selecting a design from a variety of HD patterns and GIF-like animations sketched by famous artists or create one themselves. The company's founders envision a marketplace where artists can not only share but also sell their designs to others.
Despite being electronic projections, the designs are clearly visible even in the brightest sunlight. What's even cooler is that by switching on a backlight, users can even show off their designs in the dark!
According to Coelho, the sneakers will retain their charge “forever” if only static images are displayed. Though they will need periodic recharging if animated images are projected, active users have nothing to worry about. That's because the shoes are fitted with special Walk-N Charge technology that powers the shoes with every step. Inactive or power design changers also have option of charging the sneakers wirelessly.
The sturdy shoes come with soles covered with Kevlar Fibers (the same material used to make bulletproof vests), mitigating normal wear and tear. Even better? They are completely waterproof and can even be tossed into an ordinary laundry machine for a quick rinse! Though the founders will not reveal how the magical sneaker works, they do disclose that they are simply tweaking currently available technology to suit their needs. The company estimates that the shoes, which are scheduled to debut in Fall 2016 will range in price from $150 USD to $1,000 USD depending on the size of the e-paper panels where the designs are displayed.
This is not the first time electronics and shoes have merged. Lithuania-based iShuh Technologies has come up with a similar concept that connects e-reader panels to a smartphone app via a Bluetooth. Whether these smart shoes become as ubiquitous as our smart devices remains to be seen, but they sure are fascinating.
Resources: entrepreneur.com, dailymail.co.uk,indeogogo.com
Reading Comprehension (3 questions)
- What is special about Shiftwear sneakers? Where can users obtain the designs from?
- How often will the shoes need to be charged if (a) static images are being displayed (b) animated images are being displayed ? List the two ways the shoes can be charged?
Critical Thinking Challenge
List one advantage and one disadvantage of owning a customizable shoe...
Vocabulary in Context
According to Coelho, the sneakers will retain their charge “forever” if only static images are displayed.
In the above sentence “static” most likely means: