When I got a tweet from Pee Wee Herman talking about Google introducing a talking shoe at SXSW, I imagined it would link through to a hilarious cartoon clip or maybe a cool piece from Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. But no, they really did show a talking shoe, here comes the future, people!
Of course, wearable computers have hit the headlines with Google Glass, which we will soon all be wearing allowing us to live out our biggest Terminator fantasies, but now we can twin that with a shoe chatting away to us. As well as yapping, the shoe features a gyroscope, an accelerometer and pressure sensors, so it will be able to keep track of how much exercise you are taking, how far you’ve travelled and the energy used. This suggests that perhaps you can have a walking GPS system where your computer downloads the route to your shoes that then literally tell you where to go. Of course, I’m only guessing but that’s half the fun of these prototypes, isn’t it?
Of course, these shoes also add many options for advertisers to reach us in new ways. Imagine billboards that when you pass them send information to the shoes which then beam it to your social media pages, videos, ideas, savings coupons, the lot. Or record companies can fix it so that when you pass a ad for the new Miley album, your shoes can instantly play a track from said record, plus send links to your home machine for where to buy it.
The shoe also has 250 phrases that it can throw at you depending on what you are doing, which can only lead to hilarity for the first month of owning them and a mute button for the rest of their lives, but again, updates will no doubt be available, with the wi-fi in the air constantly adding to the features and sayings at their disposal.
It’s all getting a bit Blade Runner isn’t it? Awesome.