Latest in Google

Image credit:

Google shows off hacked speaking shoe at SXSW, promises it's not getting into the footwear business

Brian Heater
March 9, 2013
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

All the hype of Google's presence at this year's SXSW has, not surprisingly, largely revolved around the company's Glass project, but much to our surprise, the software giant used the show to take the wraps off yet another wearable. We spoke to a rep who kicked off our conversation with the express disclaimer that "Google is not getting into the shoe business," so you can tamp down those expectations right now. Of course, the company is still firmly in the business of creating cool projects for the purposes of promoting creativity and supporting the developer community and ethos that are the driving forces behind its Art, Copy & Code project.

Gallery: Google hacks a shoe at SXSW | 15 Photos

Art, Copy & Code was the centerpiece of Google's Playground, set up in a space directly across the street from the Austin Convention Center. There's a sports theme throughout, with a basketball court on one side and an obstacle course on the other. The company was letting visitors try out its new talking-shoe concept, with a custom-made microcontroller (along with assorted SparkFun pieces) on the tongue of a pair of Adidas. Above that is a circular speaker that provides feedback based on your movement (detected by internal accelerometers and gyroscopes, along with pressure sensors in the sole). The shoe will then give you aural feedback, based on how you're moving.

So, why hack up a perfectly nice pair of black high-tops? Google's giving the shoes character, using Bluetooth to sync up to your smartphone and "using a series of 'if and statements,' to give your shoes personality." So, some shoes will laud you for getting off the couch and others will encourage your lollygagging. Again, while the company has the blessings of Adidas, we're not going to see this on the market as such, though the Google spokesperson we talked to told us the company may be looking to open-source the information, so you can just make your own.

Zach Honig contributed to this report.

In this article: google, shoe, sxsw, sxsw2013, video
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

View
A copy of ‘Super Mario Bros. 3’ sold for $156,000

A copy of ‘Super Mario Bros. 3’ sold for $156,000

View
Jabra updates its Elite 85t earbuds to fix annoying noise issues

Jabra updates its Elite 85t earbuds to fix annoying noise issues

View
GM pulls out of Trump administration's fuel emissions lawsuit in California

GM pulls out of Trump administration's fuel emissions lawsuit in California

View
Beloved RPG 'The World Ends With You' will get a sequel, 14 years later

Beloved RPG 'The World Ends With You' will get a sequel, 14 years later

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr