The light-up sneakers of your childhood are about to get an adult upgrade. ShiftWear, a New York-based company that launched its concept on Indiegogo a year and a half ago, is finally unveiling six sneakers that will change the way you look at custom kicks.
With a few taps of a smartphone app, the flexible HD e-paper panels on ShiftWear’s sides can transform into any design you want – and we really mean any. The shoes can display both static images and animated designs, turning you into the ultimate footwear art director with an infinite amount of personalisation potential at your fingertips.
Sound too cool to be true? You wouldn’t be the first one to think so, but tech-savvy sneakerheads were willing to give the ambitious concept a chance. ShiftWear raised nearly a million dollars during its 2015 crowdfunding campaign – a whopping 3083% of its goal. Those brave backers are at last getting to see what their funds have forged, as ShiftWear announced its final six designs: two low-top, two medium-top, and two high-top sneakers, available in black-and-white.
This is one monochrome style that will never be boring. ShiftWear’s full-colour display is your canvas and the companion app is your paintbrush. Customise your design by adding images or videos from your smartphone and tap to display them instantly on your sneakers. If you’re the indecisive type, you can save your favourite designs in a rotating playlist. You can also buy, sell, and share designs with others on the Design Marketplace, so you’ll never run out of opportunities to match your sneakers to your mood.
As for the less flashy features, ShiftWear sneakers are waterproof and machine-washable, with batteries that are designed to last 30 days. The shoes boast advanced wireless charging, plus ‘Walk-to-Charge’ functionality that generates charge as you step. WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity lets you pair and share designs with any device. And thanks to an accelerometer and gyroscope, you can step, tilt, move, or jump to trigger designs.
“Our intent was to let people have their own customized product suited to their personal preferences, without the current limitations which exist in the market,” a company blog post said.
Of course, you’ll have to pay up if you want a pair of these premium kicks. A US$250 deposit will get you on the pre-order list, then you’ll have to pony up another $250 (that’s a total of $500, for the mathematically challenged) before delivery later this year. An additional $100 will get you colour customisation.
Self-expression doesn’t come cheap, but if the price tag isn’t enough to dampen your curiosity, check out the sneakers in action in the video above and pre-order your pair here.