You've gotta love it when people solve problems that you didn't even know you had. At the moment, you're probably just wearing regular shoes that anyone could buy in any old store. Soon, you could be stepping out in electronic sneakers, complete with inbuilt flexible LED screens and eight embedded sensors for maximum personalisation.
Yep, you'll never don the same kicks as someone else ever again if New York-based fashion-tech startup Vixole has their way (or, you'll actually wear the exact same shoes, but no one will be able to tell). The company is currently running a crowdfunding campaign for what they're calling "the world's first customizable mid-top E-sneakers", with three different models available.
So how do they work? Well, whether you select the basic, the plus or the OLED, you'll be able to deck out your Vixole Matrix shoes with thousands of designs, animations and even photos via your smartphone — or "design, code, or remix your sneaker", as Vixole puts it. Each item of footwear features a LED screen built into its surface and wrapped around the back of the shoe, and is then covered by composite half transparency material to make it waterproof and even capable of withstanding snow, apparently. You'll be able to strut your stuff in them for eight hours before they'll need recharging on a wireless pad for two hours to power back up.
Then there's the plus model, which has been dubbed "the shoe from the future". Motion sensors collect data about your movements and change the design of your shoes accordingly, while sound sensors do the same by interacting with whatever music you might be playing. They even include a sensor that can communicate with other Matrix wearers, exchanging contact details just by touching the tips of your sneakers. And, they'll link up with your phone to act as a navigation tool (vibrating on either your left or right shoe to let you know which way to go), or notify you when you're getting a call (again, by vibrating). The limited-edition OLED version does all of this, and boasts a high-resolution colour display, rather than a monochrome one.
In the rapidly evolving age of wearable technology, smart sneakers might just be the next big thing. If you're keen on pairing some with your Snapchat snap-taking specs, solar-powered clothes, vibrating leggings and VISA payment rings, you can pre-order a pair via Indiegogo from US$225 (and yes, they ship worldwide). The manufacturing process is slated to start in January 2017, with the shoes delivered from June.