If you want a demonstration of how smart clothing can actually be useful as well as innovative, look no further than the Sneakairs. Developed by budget airline EasyJet for what it’s calling “The Barcelona Street Project”. The smart sneakers in question hook up to your phone and give you directions around the city with subtle vibrations underneath your feet telling you where to go.
The obvious benefit of the trainers is you can tour around a location without having your nose stuck in a map, whether a paper one or one on your smartphone – in fact, you need never look like a tourist again as you walk around from landmark to landmark. Each shoe uses a miniaturised Arduino-type device, a Bluetooth chip and a vibration motor similar to the one packed into most modern smartphones.
The Sneakairs aren’t the first set of smart footwear to use buzzes to help people navigate naturally, but previous efforts have only reached the prototype stage – which is indeed the case with this product at the moment. EasyJet is currently asking for feedback on the idea and says it will make it a reality if it gets enough support from users.