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This Talking Shoe Tells You To Get Off Your Derriere

You just got a new workout partner: your kicks. These new shoes will get pretty annoying if you don’t keep them active.

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These shoes will praise you if you’re active (“I love the feeling of wind in my laces”), but criticize you if you’re lollygagging (“This is super boring” or “I’m growing weeds here”). The latest in wearable tech, they’re shoes with personality, and a voice that echoes in your ear. As well as the required cushioning, they also have speakers, an accelerometer, gyroscope, and Bluetooth connectivity.

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They are the product of a collaboration between Adidas, Google, and a New York agency called YesYesNo, and one of several experiments from Google to imagine the future of advertising. By being connected to your phone and social networks, the shoes broadcast what’s happening in your life, and how lazy, or active, you’re being.

At the moment, the idea is just a prototype. Google showed off the concept at SXSW last week. But it shows how digital and physical worlds are colliding, and how clothing and footwear could do more than keep us warm and dry. Hopefully, it’ll be possible to turn them off, if you ever do want to just relax.

About the author

Ben Schiller is a New York staff writer for Fast Company. Previously, he edited a European management magazine and was a reporter in San Francisco, Prague, and Brussels.

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