Tough luck if orange isn't your colour... (that's everyone, then).
EasyJet, proprietor of budget flights around the world, has unveiled a prototype for a pair of smart sneakers with built-in GPS that can guide you to your destination.
They’re called Sneakairs, which is such a perfect play on words we’re almost inclined to believe the name came before the actual idea for a pair of smart sneakers. Possibly in a Wednesday afternoon team-building session where disgruntled employees had to brainstorm as many words as possible that you can amalgamate with the word “air”, before being forced to pretend to be aeroplanes for the purposes of becoming better employees.
We digress. As well as GPS, the Sneakairs come with a Bluetooth connection, which connects them wirelessly to the easyJet app on their wearer’s phone. When said wearer pinpoints a place they want to go on Google Maps within the app, the Sneakairs will vibrate in various ways to indicate which way they need to turn, whether they’ve gone off course, or if they’ve arrived at their destination.
That’s actually a pretty brilliant idea when you think about the risk of walking into roads/other people/lamp posts while squinting at a map on your phone in an unfamiliar place – a mishap most phone owners have likely encountered.
In a refreshing departure from lot of the smart sneakers we’ve met, easyJet has done a pretty good job of making the Sneakairs relatively normal looking and plain old sneaker-shaped. The transmitter device is actually placed in between the Sneakair’s cushion insert and sole and encased in a 3D-printed plastic housing, so it’s protected and nicely hidden away.
We say “relatively normal looking” – there is one tiny catch. They’re bright orange. And they’re emblazoned with the easyJet logo. Just like tiny easyJet aeroplanes in shoe form on your feet. That’s not a good thing in our books.
Despite our aesthetic reservations, we’re going to have to accept the reality that the Sneakairs are probably going to be an actual thing very soon. In a press release, easyJet marketing manager Peter Duffy said the airline is, “looking at making this technology available for purchase on-board in the future.”
Smart sneakers with your potato mash from a packet, anyone?
The Sneakairs have been created as part of easyJet’s recently launched Barcelona Street Project, and there’s no indication of any kind of Kickstarter or fundraiser to bring them to life. The BSP’s website, however, is encouraging people to spread the word to make the Sneakairs happen.
- Story via: Digital Trends