SoSolo sneakers download social media info, emit colors to match your personality traits
Invasion of advanced electronics into fashion accessories is heading toward unknown future. Conglomerate of fabric and electronics has already earned itself the label “Smart Clothing”. A couple of years ago, smart clothing would have meant generating electricity using piezoelectric material or fitness trackers and sensors to collect data, but now, the scenario has moved on to another level – giving your accessories the ability to download and analyze data from social networks in order to respond in social settings.
At least, that’s what Bojian Han, a fashion and industrial designer had in mind when he conceived SoSole sneakers that talk. The concept goes like this. A consumer purchase sneakers and download an app that is developed specifically for the sneakers. The sneakers would download information from user’s social networks to generate a specific color based on it. Then they would create a particular set or profile based on the personal information it downloads from various social media platforms to express its crust in a color-response.
The designer argues the concept would encourage activity between different genders, races, and ages. We shall see that as the story unfolds.
But how the sneakers would actually do that? Well, for material, the designer took inspiration from moth-wing for the upper of the shoe. Moth wings when seen under microscope would reveal a structure that is incredibly light but still very strong.
The upper section of the sneakers have three layers; patterned rubber as outer layer, middle mesh layer that house embedded electronics, and inner neoprene layer for comfort. Upper layer is then sewed together, and as it’s made of soft thermoplastic, it’s easily shaped using little heat while it’s temporarily stitched with the sole.
A compartment, 3D printed specifically to house the Arduino and battery, is fitted into the insole. There you have it, the talking sneakers are ready to interact with your real social world. For instance, if you come across a person who is wearing the same shoe with the same color, then brightness increases and the sneakers begin to blink. It’ll indicate that user is near like-minded people.
That’s all the details provided by Han. Han has referred to some statics about social media usage by adults and teens on their smartphones. The date claims that 37 percent of adults and 60 percent of teens were found highly addicted to their smartphones, 51 percent of adults and 65 percent of teens admit using smartphone while socializing, 23 percent adults and 34 percent used smartphone during mealtimes, and that 22 percent of adults and 47 percent of teens use smartphone while in the bathroom.
That’s quite intense data on smartphone usage by the most active age groups. Han suggests that new generation is losing the skills of socializing in real world, and instead feel more comfortable on virtual world – the social media. So, Han pushed shoe design to match with people’s social media, which doesn’t seem to help the user gain back their skills. Does it? At best, it may help you labeling people by looking at their shoe color and vice-versa.
Source: Designer Bojian Han