Google’s talking trainers: The next level in footwear?

IN another attempt to integrate the web with devices other traditional devices like PCs, tablets and smartphones, new footwear from Google can provide directions, speed and can even dish out motivational talk using connection between the shoes, and an Android smartphone.

The futuristic Google Talking Shoe is an experimental talking sneaker concept being developed by Google. The shoe is said to be able to literally talk and communicate with its user in a very social way, as it motivates that user and gives feedback while that person is doing certain tasks such as walking, running or exercising, for example.

The shoe is fitted with a speaker, computer, accelerometer, gyroscope and pressure sensor.

It is the perfect invention for anyone who needs a gentle reminder to get off the sofa.

Google’s talking shoe can sense activity – and inactivity – and tells the wearer when they need to get moving.

It is fitted with a host of gadgets that measure movement, direction and balance, a built-in microprocessor connects to an audio speaker in the tongue of the trainer.

The gadgets are programmed to translate the pressure sensor and accelerometer readings into simple audio instructions for the wearer.

But not content simply to give someone feedback, the inventors at Google have created the shoes to have their own personality – that of a sarcastic, impatient personal trainer who cheers and sneers in equal measure.

When the wearer, for example, is stationary for too long, the trainers will say, ‘This is super boring’, or ‘Let’s do this’.

When someone ups their activity, the shoes will say something like, ‘That’s more like it’, or ‘I love the feel of the wind in my laces’.

And increasing to a sprint will prompt the speakers to call out: ‘Call 911, you are on fire’, or the ultimate in praise: ‘You have made me a very proud shoe.’

The trainers also connect to the internet via bluetooth and an Android phone and work with Google’s mapping software to track and plot runs.

Mike Glaser, product marketing manager for Google, said: “The trainer has pressure sensors in the sole and all of those collect the wearer’s data in real time.

“So if I’m running, it recognises how many times my foot hits the ground in a minute through the accelerometer and sends the information to the web to an Android app allowing us to tell a very rich story of the wearer.”

But, unfortunately for anyone who likes the sound of super-smart trainers, there are no plans to put them on sale.

Google, which unveiled the trainers at the SXSW technology festival in Austin, Texas, developed the concept to showcase the possibilities of integrating everyday objects with cutting-edge technology.

Advertising executive, Aman Govil, said the shoe was an exercise in showing what could be done – ‘an experiment’ in connecting any kind of object to the web and using it to collect and analyse information.

Google has partnered with shoe-maker Adidas in their talking sneaker project. No word yet has come out about its price and availability.

This is Google's second high-profile experimental project on wearable technology after Google Glass, an augmented reality eyewear, which is expected to be released by Google sometime this year.


Hey, I'am Babanature. A webdesigner, blogspot developer, UI/UX Designer and entertainment personality. I'am also a business speaker, marketer, Blogger and Javascript Programmer.

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