When you think of the 80s you think Duran Duran, Madonna, shoulder pads and ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ belted out by Bonnie Tyler.
You probably don’t think about smart shoes.
Smart technology feels very new and of our time. Smartphones, smartwatches and fitness trackers belong to today, not the ’80s.
And yet, back in 1986, PUMA released RS-Computer shoes that could track your steps, distance, calories burned, and running time electronically, just like your phone or smartwatch does today, reports Fast Company.
Check out this news report from 1986 about the then-revolutionary shoe:
Take a moment to appreciate that green-screened computer.
The most important thing you need to know about the smart shoe is that it’s coming back.
The German sports company is re-releasing the rare sneakers for the dorks of today.
The two versions of the shoe are visually identical, and the new release still tracks all the same metrics. The only real difference is that those metrics are much more precise than the original shoes thanks to a modern 3-axis accelerometer that replaces the old rudimentary chip of the original.
The big plastic heel attachment–which was so big because it needed to house a big circuit board and regular batteries–now includes a USB port for charging an internal lithium-polymer battery, along with plenty of memory to record all your information and LEDs that indicate the shoe’s status.
You also won’t have to attach a 16-pin serial cable to upload data from your shoe to your computer. The new design will work via Bluetooth.
Once paired with your phone, the shoe will transmit the running data to an app that looks pretty much like the original text-based software that people used back in the day.
If you want a pair, you’d better move fast. You’d also better move to Berlin, Tokyo or London, because only 86 pairs of the new smart shoes will be released in PUMA stores in those three locations this December for an undisclosed price.
But who knows – if they’re popular enough, they might just make a bigger comeback.
For now, just check out the PUMA SELECT’s site for retro-style sneakers currently available in SA.
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