Something a little different, these SuperShoes by Dhairya Dand are flexible insoles that are linked to an app on your smartphone that ‘tickle’ your feet (left or right) to lead you in the right direction. I’m always super fascinated with how we can incorporate software into footwear in a non-corny way, and tbh this is one of the most interesting examples I’ve seen of doing just that. You can select your location, interests, to-do list and a whole host of other info, and the sensors will guide you to the location or remind you when your near.
‘SuperShoes are a pair of flexible inner soles that you can flex, twist and put in any of your shoes to make them a supershoe. Each of these soles have three vibrotactile motors that tickle your toes, a capacitive pad that recognizes your touch and serves as an input modality. Onboard micro controller, low-power bluetooth and battery supplement the interface. The soles talk to the smartphone to use its location and data services. Users register onto ShoeCentral – once – where they populate their likes and dislikes (food, people, shopping, weather, places, hobbies, activities, interests etc) and social preferences. The ShoeCentral keeps learning about user preferences as you use the SuperShoes to go around.’
I guess the main idea is that this gives you the option of wandering around, head-up, and ready to take in your environment and hopefully become inspired, rather than the usual act of finding locations in a new city; face-down, consumed by your smart phone and unable soak everything in.
‘Today we immerse in our digital lives through smartphones – we use google maps to navigate to the right location, yelp to find the right restaurant and so on. We don’t get lost anymore, we don’t wander, wonder and discover. Acts of random serendipity through walking brings us back to our innate nature as explorers, walking is meditating.’
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