Google's latest gadget a shoo-in

BEN GRUBB
Last updated 12:46 12/03/2013
Google promotional video

Google launches its latest gadget, "a sneaker with personality" that talks to the wearer.

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First there were Google glasses - now Google has shown off a talking shoe.

The concept, shown off at the South by Southwest music, film, and interactive festival in Austin, Texas, makes use of a custom-made microcontroller on the tongue of a pair of Adidas.

A speaker provides audio feedback to whoever is wearing it and either encourages or discourages certain activities, such as running, depending on the shoe's "personality".

It's outfitted with an accelerometer and gyroscope, as well as pressure sensors on the bottom, so it can detect movement and also collect data that can then be sent to a smartphone.

A Google representative treaded carefully when discussing whether the shoe would come to market, telling technology blog Engadget that Google wasn't getting into the footwear business.

"The whole reason we're doing this ... is to show what happens when you collect a lot of data and use that data to tell interesting, funny, relevant stories in new and different ways," the Google representative said. Another representative later told CNET it was an "experiment".

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