Google get mouthy with talking shoes at SXSW. Hammerman!

Google, Tech Digest news

Remember MC Hammer’s shoes in his “Hammerman” cartoon? Then you’re going to love this; Google have been showing off a pair of talking shoes at this year’s South by Southwest festival.

Google, YesYesNo, ad agency 72andSunny, and Adidas have paired up to make the chatty trainers, which use an accelerometer, a gyroscope, Bluetooth and a speaker to have the shoes shout commands and information at you as you walk around.

“By connecting a pair of sneakers to the web, we’re creating unique opportunities between physical objects and digitalt ad spaces. Every move the user makes generates data that’s captured using an accelerometer, gyroscope and pressure sensors,” reads a statement on the project’s website.

“That data then gets pushed to a web app on your mobile phone and translated in real-time into funny and motivating commentary.”

The advertising element is most interesting – with an ad-agency on board with the shoes, this could be the first step (every pun intended) towards wearable technologies with geo-aware ad-serving capabilities.

Though its unlikely the sneakers will be leaving the concept stage anytime soon, Google are heavily invested in wearable computing. They’re currently running trials of their Google Glass headsets, web-connected augmented reality glasses that overlay digital information onto your surroundings.

Gerald Lynch
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