ShiftWear Shoes Integrate a Flexible e-Paper Display, Energy Harvesting Capabilities (Crowdfunding)

ARM CTO, Mike Muller, showcase imprinted electronics, that is an integrated circuit printed on a plastic film, at ARM TechCon 2015, and several products are featured flexible displays, so in future flexible electronics could bring innovation applications from truly wearables electronics to traceable bank notes, and so on. A company has launched an Indiegogo campaign for a new product, that’s both cool and relatively useless, with ShiftWear sneakers that integrate a flexbile e-Paper display, a battery that recharges by harvesting energy from your steps, and some connectivity (likely Bluetooth LE) to update the display from your iOS, Android or  Windows device.

Smart_Shoes_DisplayThree models are available: L1, M1 and H1 referring to low height, medium height and high height of the part around the ankle (heel tab?). But all three have basically the same features:

  • Always-on HD color e-paper flexible display
  • Up to 30 days of battery life
  • Waterproof up to 5 meters
  • Machine washable
  • Kevlar fiber coated oles
  • Wireless charging
  • Walk to charge technology
Limited Edition
Limited Edition

You can display both static images and animation, but battery life will obviously be much better with static images. The shoes are using energy harvesting “walk-to-charge” technology, but it might not be enough to keep the battery charged all the time, so wireless charging is also an option. The Classic version of the shoes are only partially covered with the display. but there’s also a Limited Edition M1 with a display all around the shoe, and limited to 2,000 pieces. There will also be a community to exchange and potentially sell designs to upload to the shoes.

If you watch the video above, you may want to say “just take my money”, but it might be risky because 1. there’s no prototype, 2. launch is only planned for fall 2016, or about one year from now, 3. few technical details are provided, 4. some of the features like HD displays seem tied to a 1 million dollar stretch goal, walk-to-charge to 2 millions, etc.. With that in mind, you could pledge $150, $250, or $350 for respectively L1, M1 and H1 Classic, or splurge $1,000 for a M1 Limited edition. Shipping is not included and adds $25 to North America, and $50 to the rest of the world.

You might also find some extra information on ShiftWear website.

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6 Replies to “ShiftWear Shoes Integrate a Flexible e-Paper Display, Energy Harvesting Capabilities (Crowdfunding)”

  1. I liked the “that’s both cool and relatively useless” but I could say that about all the smartphones and tablets launched these days 😀

  2. I also felt the “just take my money” feeling but I have to doubt that this can really be done. E-ink isn’t cheap for signs and I haven’t seen a commercial flexible display, hard to imagine that it could be made to work for a sneaker with all the bends just to make it fit on a static shoe. Even if they could make it would it be comfortable???

  3. Haven’t seen a large color display yet, hard to believe that the first would be a sneaker skin, so as much as I would like to see these exist I can’t believe that it will work or that this is real product.

  4. Actually there is another risk and that is that the size or fit is not good for you (e.g. if you have wide feet)

  5. This kind of technology will probably used military for nearly invisible dissimulation, helped by some cameras around the body.

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