Earlier this year we introduced you to smart heels and the article was crazy popular among the ladies. However all those who don’t really wear heels were disappointed why there was no shoes for them, which let the user be in control of the shoe’s design. Now ShiftWear brings you a true unisex sneaker and it’s surface is controlled by a cool smartphone app. These might be one of the coolest fashion / tech wearables of 2016.
ShiftWear was founded in 2014 by David Coelho with the goal to build the most adaptable shoes you’ll ever own, customized straight from your smartphone. Not much more information could be found about them. They seem to be based in New York with some employees scattered across eastern Europe.
ShiftWear about themselves: “We are a team of entrepreneurs, futurists and engineers who dream of disrupting the fashion and technology industries. We have great ideas and determined to push ahead on our goal to make these sneakers a reality. Everyone loves to look a certain way and we want to put this power back into your hands. We will do everything in our power to bring you the coolest sneakers ever! While we love to innovate and push the boundaries, we are really annoying perfectionists who will not sacrifice on quality.”
Even though ShiftWear looks like they are going to provide an interesting product, there are also cracks in the surface. For instance the former lead hardware engineer bailed out and posted a little notice on LinkedIn about why he left the startup, with information from his angle.
I’m not sure if this is going to be for real or not but from the pre-production renders of how the product is supposed to look like, this will be awesome. I like sneakers a lot and like exotic designs but having sneakers that can be redesigned via smartphone app sounds almost like a dream coming true. The surface technology is not going to be like flexible e-paper but more like a flexible display material with a coating. Some of the demo material even suggest that the shoe will support animations and that’s just too far out – great!
The pricing isn’t clearly defined yet on the product homepage but if we are checking their crowdfunding campaign and what the pledges cost, we estimate the final price of the product to be somewhere between $250 and $300. This is a lot for a shoe but then it’s no more than 3 normal sneakers with a cool design would cost but with the ShiftWear shoes you had unlimited design options in comparison.
I don’t know whether or not the shoes are going to be as comfortable as a regular sneaker of that price segment but from the stated specifications we know they plan for a high durability and want to utilize kevlar fibers to resist the street, so the shoes won’t wear down so fast.
They are currently having a Indiegogo campaign for crowdfunding running for another 8 days. They currently collected about $585,482USD via a total of 2,206 backers. Their stretch goals consist of very interesting possible features such as HD resolution displays, walk-to-charge and wireless charging, touch sensitive surface, waterproof music speaker, advanced sensors for more design options.
This could be a dominating product in 2016 fashion / wearable technology, but the important questions are if the shoes are going to be comfortable, if they keep up with the promised functionality and if the company itself can prevent falling apart even though they lose leading staff. I hope for the best and will also buy these kicks if they go-live for the masses.
YouTube: ShiftWear Presentation Video
Photo credit: ShiftWear