Taking wearable technology to an entirely new level, the French startup DigitSole has created the world’s first smart shoe and it’s awesome. With its futuristic and urban design, their SmartShoe 001 is fully connected (Bluetooth 4.0), automatically tightens, and comes equipped with heated sole technology. Trying to do their best now-a-day-version of Marty McFly’s self-lacing shoes in Back to the Future II, the DigitSole is an interactive shoe that keeps your digits toasty in the coldest of temps.
Designed following a frigid March hunting trip in France, DigitSole’s CEO wanted a solution for his frozen toes. The end result: DigitSole’s launch of its groundbreaking warm series. On the heels of its ergonomic, waterproof, vibration absorbing cushioned warm soles, DigitSole decided to incorporate its technology into the SmartShoe 001. So why should someone buy these shoes?
For one, as the name suggests, this is one smart pair of shoes. So smart, in fact, the wearer can adjust the temperature of the shoes in one-degree increments. Once the wearer sets the desired temperature and it’s reached, the app turns off, increasing battery life. Tested in harsh negative 13-degree Fahrenheit conditions, the shoes maintained an average temp of 77 degrees. Impervious to tundra-like temps.
Speaking of battery life, the SmartShoe 001 has a built-in, long-lasting lithium ion battery in each shoe. With an estimated life ranging from a full day to several days on a full charge, a user can expect at least 500 charges on their shoes. By the time you’re close to the 500-charge mark, it’s probably time to get a new pair of kicks anyway. If you’re imagining a pair of sneakers connected to a cell phone charger, nothing could be further from the truth. Each pair of smart shoes is supplied with dual charging platforms with an induction charging system. In other words, these shoes don’t need an outlet. The charging system, looking similar to a set of headphones, works without connecting to the shoe itself.
The SmartShoe 001 wouldn’t be called “The world’s first smart shoe” without having an automatic tightening (and loosening) feature. The SmartShoe’s tightening embedded system can be controlled by either your smartphone or by voice recognition. A simple command like, “tighten my shoes,” activates the predetermined comfort level.
As with most tech gadgets, especially the mobile ones, they come with a built-in accelerometer that speaks to a pedometer. That means the technology is capable of tracking motion. In this case, DigitSole’s SmartShoe keeps count of the number of steps you take throughout the day. Whether you’re a fitness fanatic or simply wanting to track steps, after imputing height and weight metrics, the app computes calories burned. If that wasn’t cool enough, you can save commonly used tracks or walking routes for the sake of measuring performance. Your shoes transform into a fitness coach without the gym membership or personal training fees.
From its built-in heating system to its automatic tightening technology, there’s no question that DigitSole’s SmartShoe 001 makes walking and running an entirely new experience. Consider it footwear reinvented. These shoes are capable of drying wet sock and at the same time, able to count your steps during a fall hike.
This is all great and rather amazing, but now for the big question: Are these shoes comfortable to wear? Designed with reinforced arch support and powered by its proprietary shock absorption measurement system, DigitSole’s warm soles meet the IPX6 waterproof standards, are able to withstand 1100 lbs of pressure, and are equipped the latest vibration-absorbing technology (Zhor-Tech). So the answer is a resounding yes. Marty McFly may want to trade in his futuristic pair for these ones.