Sometimes it can be tough finding the right shoes to go with your outfit but a new company has come up with an ingenious solution. Lithuanian startup iShüu Technologies has created a pair of ‘smart’ high heels called Volvorii Timeless, whose color can be changed using an app. Using an embedded Bluetooth receiver, the wearer can transform the shoe’s e-ink material to an array of different hues and patterns, including polka dots and animal stripes. Wallen Mphepö, the CEO of iShüu, tells Metro why these chameleon-like peep-toe heels are what every woman wants. The shoe is available on Indiegogo at $149, for exclusive pre-orders and shipping scheduled to December, but the retail price per pair will be about $499.
A color-changing shoe –looks enchanting.
— Indeed, the goal was to make it a real magical shoe. If Cinderella were alive she would be wearing them instead of just the glass slippers. Volvorii Timeless was meant to be a pure fusion of science and aesthetics where functionality was a foregone conclusion.
How exactly does this ‘magic’ work?
— The magic itself happens in the display science, microelectronics engineering, shoe mechanics and software that enables communication between the user’s phone and the shoe’s material. Basically the shoe’s sole has a small compartment where we placed custom electronics that does two things: firstly, to control the image on the e-ink display embedded in the leather of the shoe, and secondly, to communicate with the user’s smartphone via Bluetooth so as to receive commands from an app on what to display.
Having a wearable on your feet sounds daring. Is it safe?
— All the electronics are actually completely sealed inside the compartment in the sole of the shoe. Even battery recharging is done through wireless charging. The inside lining of the shoe is actually leather as well. So the use has no exposure to the electronics and is not in contact with any of them.
But are the shoes comfortable?
— The shoe actually looks, weighs, smells and, most importantly, feels as comfortable as a conventional shoe. Our target is ideally young, career-focussed women because the shoe is office appropriate, social appropriate and red carpet appropriate. Thus it is versatile in that sense, it will keep up with the woman of the 21st century’s busy schedules and fast changing world.
Do you have plans to launch other shoes soon, perhaps for men?
— Yes we do. We plan to launch men’s shoes next; we have been hearing a lot of grumbling from men that we did not make one smart shoe for them. We will also build flat shoes, sling backs, boots and sneakers down the road that use our technologies as well. basically we hope people can have a shoe in each style form factor that is comfortable and then just use our technology to make it look any way they want via the app.