Lenovo shows off smart shoe prototype, counts, steps to games
June 12, 2016 by Nancy Owano
You can blame computer hardware for making you fall into a chair for hours and turning into a user potato surrounded by all your desktop and entertainment products, but many people will allow themselves to be hopelessly out of shape for just so long.
And when it's time to make those moves, Lenovo has a tempting concept suggesting how their wearables prototype could be part of your life as you leave your motionless comfort zone.
A video posted on June 9 by Lenovo -showing smart shoes" shows a good looking red shoe. Philip Michaels, senior editor,Tom's Guide, described them as "sensor-infused sneakers." These are the Smart Lifestyle F2 Smart Shoes.
A number of tech sites are talking about the Lenovo wearable shoe; they were shown at Tech World 2016 in San Francisco on recently.
When you're in a game-playing mood, you put the shoes on and your feet become the controllers. That's just one function of the smart shoe. The prototype can track fitness metrics. It counts steps and more.
Wait, what do they mean by games? Tom's Guide said, "A demo showcasing the power of the F2s featured an endless runner game on a smartphone in which you had to pick up coins while dodging assorted obstacles like bales of hay."
By running in place, you start the on-screen avatar moving. Shifting left or right makes him follow suit. Drag your feet and the character will slide. Jump and he's skyward to avoid the hay bales.
Dave Calpito in Tech Times wrote about these fitness data gathering capabilities. He said a "3D scanner, which is found in the insole, checks the users' health. Such a scanner can track body fat percentage, amount of sweat during workout and weight."
Night movement components: The shoes light up along the bottom with a set of LEDs.
As for battery power, the shoes run for about a week before you have to charge them, which is done via a charging pad. Tom's Guide said two hours of charging should have them good to go again.
There is an Intel connection in the shoe: The prototype runs on an Intel Curie chip; 3ders.org said that an Intel Curie wearable chip was "expected to become commonplace in wearables in the near future."
Regarding the future, while the smart shoe is only a prototype, it tells a larger story about Lenovo.
The company does not intend to get too comfortable over what it already does, in selling PCs and other hardware, to the extent that it falls behind competitors coming up with products that are a part of the next wave Internet of Things.
Lenovo CEO Yuanqing Yang said in the past the company was mainly a device company including PCs and smartphones. These will always be our core business, he said, but as we edge toward the Internet of Things, everything around us can have computing. "And we need to respond to more scenarios than just customary PCs and phones...For sure, new devices will emerge."
The shoe reflects having worked along with Vibram, an Italy-based company known for their rubber outsoles for footwear.
Reports said there is no real news around about when or if the shoes as shown will be sold in stores any time soon or if this wearable will be coming to the marketplace. In short, no release date or pricing was mentioned.
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