Orphe smart shoes. © no new folk studio Inc.
We are in an era where smartphones communicate with shoes. In Japan, smart shoes that flash lights and play sounds to match foot movements are appearing on the market, one after another. To see why, let's take a look at their colorful appearance and unique form of fun!
Walking Is So Much Fun with Flashing Lights and Sounds!
How does a smart shoe light up? The secret is hidden in the sides and sole of the shoe. Transmitters to send signals to smartphones, sensors to sense the movement of the feet, and many LEDs to shoot out light are mounted in the sides and soles of smart shoes. The user's running and jumping motions sensed by the sensors are sent to the transmitters. Upon receiving signals sent from the transmitters, the smartphone sends different signals to LEDs in the shoes so that the LEDs flash.
This illumination is not the only function of smart shoes. Certain smart shoes for children instruct the smartphone to play music and video on the screen when they sense the child's feet moving. Children can enjoy what they see every time they move their feet. Some child even said, "I feel like I can walk forever!"
Smart shoes and a smartphone send signals to each other to play lights and sounds. The FUMM children's smart shoes sense foot movement and the color of the ground to play various kinds of sounds and videos on a smartphone. © KDDI Corporation, au Unlimited Future Laboratory
The user of another brand of smart shoes can change the light patterns of the shoes from a smartphone to suit the user's preferences. For example, the user can turn on the colored lights (seven colors) in the shoes. Different smart shoes for children can instruct the smartphone to play an amusing sound every time the child takes a step.
The light colors and sounds for Orphe smart shoes can be set from not only a smartphone but also a tablet. © no new folk studio Inc.
Parents and Children Taking the Challenge of Moving with Smart Shoes through a Maze
There are many other ways to have fun with smart shoes. One amusement park had a hands-on attraction that effectively used the functions of smart shoes, and it was especially popular among kids. The attraction was a huge maze. Children put on smart shoes made for them by a major telecommunications company and explored the maze to complete a number of missions.
The children moved their bodies as instructed on their smartphones to proceed through the attraction. For example, to move ahead in an area with a big dinosaur, they jumped from one leaf to another, trying not to fall into a pond. In another mission, they competed with the dinosaur to see who could take more steps in 30 seconds.
This attraction was divided into three areas, where embedded transmitters sent signals to smartphones. When a child passed in front of a transmitter, the smartphone received signals and displayed a mission according to the area. © KDDI Corporation, au Unlimited Future Laboratory
Your footsteps will be converted to dinosaur footsteps or animal calls! The FUMM children's smart shoes work together with dedicated apps for various fun activities. © KDDI Corporation, au Unlimited Future Laboratory
In the FUMM ADVENTURE attraction, which was open for a limited time in the Yomiuriland amusement park in Tokyo, children went through a maze while playing with dinosaurs. © KDDI Corporation, au Unlimited Future Laboratory
* The FUMM shoes used for FUMM ADVENTURE did not have a light-emitting function.
Of course, children who did not have smartphones were not left out! The maze staff handed out smartphones to the parents and sent mission descriptions to these phones so that the children could work together with their parents to reach the goals. Since the attraction brought family members closer through enjoyable activities similar to games, the site was crowded with many people.
Fantastical Shows of Light and Sound, Like Works of Art!
Not only children have fun with smart shoes. There are actually smart shoes that adults can enjoy.
Available since 2016, Orphe is a beautiful smart shoe with lights in seven colors shining from the soles. © no new folk studio Inc.
One brand of smart shoes on the market since 2016 is aimed at adults. Each pair has about 100 LEDs embedded in the two soles, and each LED can be set with a different sound type, color type, and light pattern. Gradual changes in light based on foot gestures are so fascinating that they take your breath away! With a simple, cool design and decorated with a light-emitting sole, the shoes have gotten the enthusiastic attention of dancers and music lovers.
The smart shoes have appeared in a fashion show and a department store window display, made in collaboration with a globally successful Japanese fashion designer. The shoes are sought-after items, as they have been used by dancers and a popular Japanese singing group in performances, displayed in a famous art museum and appeared in a TV commercial. A video showing a female dancer dynamically dancing with her whole body moving dramatically in the dark has especially drawn attention. The continuously changing colors like a rainbow and the lines of light appearing against the darkness create a fantastical atmosphere. Gazing at the scene, you may almost forget to blink.
Smart shoes designed specially by a famous fashion designer appear in a department store window display. The light-emitting shoes grab the attention of a passerby. © no new folk studio Inc.
Beautiful light traces created by a dancer with Orphe, captured by a special camera. © no new folk studio Inc.
Japanese smart shoes are cool. Children and adults alike love them. Both get a physical and mental lift from the sight and sounds of their favorite shoes on their feet, when they indeed seem eager to move about. Don't you think it's time for you to experience these shoes for yourself?Related Articles