Intel-powered 3D printed smart sneakers were recently unveiled by Lenovo and EasyJet too, is working on the same lines.
EasyJet is engaged in booking budget flights in Europe by has forayed into this segment with Sneakairs- sneakers that contain 3D sensors and are programmed to give directions. It is a part of the Barcelona Street Project, which was tested in Catalan, a popular EasyJet destination. The shoes acted as guides to move around the popular landmarks in the city.
GPS sensors have been fit in the soles of the shoes with waterproof 3D printed housing. The sensors connect to Bluetooth via an app, and the user has to choose the target destination on the app. A series of vibrations are also embedded in the sole, which guide the user to the correct direction. They give specific vibrations for turning left, right or taking the wrong or correct direction. They also give specific vibrations on reaching the destination.
The navigation tools of the app are powered by Google Maps and Google Maps direction API. Its 3D housing technology is sweat repellent, the GPS can be turned off when desired and the sensation of electronic devices in the shoes is minimal to the user.
Though these shoes are just being prototyped with not plans of launch in the market, the marketing editor of EasyJet, Peter Duffy has said that they want to promote the marketing of these tech shoes and they plan to sell it on board in future. If the response is good to go, the company will take a plunge into the commercial market for the Sneakairs.
However, there are some areas in the manufacturing of these shoes that have to be worked upon. The battery life of Sneakairs is just 3 hours. But by overcoming these small flaws, technology will experience a different level of innovation.