SXSW: Google experiments with development of speaking Adidas trainers

Google's talking trainer

Search giant Google has been showing off its latest experiments at SXSW in Austin, including the creation of talking Adidas trainers.

During its one-day pop up site named The Google Playground, the company has been presenting some of its latest creative work, including a new social app in partnership with Volkswagen called Smileage.

The trainers, which feature built in sensors in the soles of the shoes, feed the information back through a arduino - a single board micro controller - that is also installed within alongside a speaker that speaks to the wearer, delivering words of encouragement to be active.

Speaking to The Drum, Mike Glaser, product marketing manager for Google explained that the purpose of the experiment was to show how everyday objects could become interactive through connection with the web.

"The trainer has pressure sensors in the sole of the shoes and all of those collects the wearer's data in real-time - So if I'm running, it recognises how many times my foot hits the ground in a minute through the accelerometer and send the information to the web to an Android app allowing us to tell a very rich story of the wearer," he added.

Google has worked alongside artist and programmer Zack Leiberman from Yes Yes No and digital agency 72andSunny in developing the interactive trainers.

Stephen Lepitak

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