This weekend, Google has been showing off an interesting product at the SXSW conference: the Talking Shoe. They also released the video above to showcase what the shoe can do. Basically, this is a normal pair of shoes except that one of them has a bunch of electronics inside of the top which links to a mobile phone. Then, the shoe can use a speaker in order to speak aloud and incite you to work out, walk or run faster, and keep you in shape.
Of course this type of device which is supposed to help people work out is not new. Apple has had a long relationship with Nike to offer iOS based solutions for those who wish to workout by running around and keeping track of their path, the amount of calories lost and many other data points. There are also a lot of armbands that will use sensors to keep track of your mileage, heart rate, blood pressure, and so on.
But none of those solutions are as creative as the Talking Shoe. As you walk around, having an actual voice tell you that "this is super boring" if you are standing still, or to "call 911 because you're on fire!" when you are moving around a lot, is quite entertaining. The employee showing this shoe off also says that this product has its own personality whereas it can encourage you to work out, or berate you for not being active enough. So far this is just an experiment for marketing and advertising agencies and will not show up on shelves, but perhaps footwear companies may pick up the tab.
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