The ‘ShiftWear’ range has flexible Color Changing Sneakers displays so wearers can change the pattern and colour of their shoe at the touch of a button. They are designed to work with a dedicated app offering a ‘wardrobe’ of design options and the footwear will even be able to display animations for flamboyant or indecisive wearers.
Designer David Coelho, based in New York, is raising money on Indiegogo to make the shoes a reality.
The campaign claims the ShiftWear shoes are ‘the most adaptable shoes you’ll ever own, customised straight from your smartphone.’
Available as high, medium and low tops, the shoes will include e-ink panels, using a similar technology to that seen in Amazon’s Kindle e-reader, but in colour. Users will be able to use an accompanying app to choose designs for the shoes that will be displayed on the flexible screens.
‘In addition to static designs and images, ShiftWear shoes can also display animations,’ the start-up added.
‘However, if your design is static, the sneaker will consume no power and your design will stay that way till you change it.’ The Color Changing Sneakers will have up to 30 days battery life if displaying a static image. While the start-up claims the technology to make the shoes has existed for years, it said it can’t release its trade secrets about how the trainers will function.
Earlier this year, another firm called iShuh Technologies raised money on Indiegogo for ‘Voltarii’ heels similarly incorporating e-reader panels. The Lithuanian start-up explained the shoes would have a Bluetooth receiver inside to connect the displays to a smartphone app. From the app, designs such as polka dots could be selected and ‘sent’ to the displays on the shoes. It is likely the ShiftWear trainers will work in a similar way.
There are four versions of the Color Changing Sneakers, which are available to pre-order from Indiegogo from $150 (£100) to $1,000 (£666), depending on the size of the e-paper panels. Many companies are developing flexible screens and colour e-ink screens, and the company’s price-point may be seen to be a little ambitious.
The cheapest design is the ShiftWear L1 Classic, which is described as ‘badass sneakers that let you display custom designs, right from your phone or tablet in seconds.’
All the Color Changing Sneakers will be waterproof and machine washable.
The start-up continued: ‘The colours and designs can be viewed with direct sunlight just as you would see designs on normal sneakers.’
The shoes’ soles will be coated with Kevlar Fibres, to resist the normal wear and tear of traditional sneakers and ‘the flexible electronics in the shoes charge with every step you take – or wirelessly.’
An iOS, Android and Windows app is planned, which will allow users to change the designs of their trainers at the touch of a button. It will also have a marketplace with the ‘freshest designs’ from artists which could be bought to show up on sneakers in seconds. ‘You can create your own designs and share them with friends or sell them,’ the company said.
‘It’s a design software, marketplace and social network all in one.’