Google Is Working On A Talking Shoe


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Forget Google Glass, Google’s got sneakers now.

Google’s “talking shoe,” aims to translate movement data in witty messages to users and their friends.

The search giant isn’t planning to get into the sneaker or footwear business, but to showcase its new advertising innovation program called “Art, Copy and Code” the company has hacked together a crazy pair of sneakers.

The shoe isn’t the brainchild of the famous Google X group either, the ones responsible for the Google Glass eyewear and self-driving cars. It’s a proof-of-concept gadget developed by the Advertising Arts team, Aman Govil, head of the Art, Copy & Code initiative.

“The Talking Shoe is an experiment in how you can use connected objects to tell stories on the Web today,” Govil said.

Govil’s team at Google took a few pairs of Adidas sneakers and crammed in a small computer, an accelerometer, a pressure sensor, a gyroscope, speaker and Bluetooth. The shoe can tell what you are or aren’t doing and can then relay that information to your phone via Bluetooth or to you via the speaker in the top tongue of the shoe.

The idea is that the shoe would function a lot like many of the fitness gadgets out there today that attempt you to motivate you more. When you have been sitting for more than an hour it might yell at you to walk around. But in this instance, Google’s really thinking along the lines of what brands could do with this sort of technology.

Govil says that Google is not planning on releasing the shoe as a consumer product. It’s just a prototype to inspire others.

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