If the Shoe Fits: Wearing Digital Displays


Remember L.A. Lights—the crown jewel in the L.A. Gear collection that debuted at Foot Locker in 1992 and had kids tripping over each other to avoid being stuffed in a trash can or being otherwise shamed on their respective schoolyards for lack of acceptable kicks? If not, the attraction to this particular sneaker was less about performance or utility and more about the rudimentary laser pointer flashing red through  the heavy transparent tube at the heel. Triggered by movement, the flickering lights earned one innumerable cool points, but added weight and bulk to an already impractical tennis shoe.  Well, the product below from the hip New York outfit known as ShiftWear has perfected the L.A. Lights model, and frankly, they make that technology look quite literally like child’s play.  

Dubbed by some as “Jordans from the Future,” ShiftWear sneakers display moving graphics and designs that can be controlled with your smartphone. And unlike the practical efficiency provided by other digital-signage-crossover wearables including smartwatches, Google Glass(es), etc., this fashion statement is all about style. These dirt-resistant and purportedly waterproof wearables come in six styles and custom color options. There’s also a smartphone app to instantly change the design on the sneakers to a myriad of eye-catching display templates or custom create one of your own.  

Thanks to the accelerometer and gyroscope, one can activate designs by jumping and moving in different ways. You can also generate a charge by walking, which adds a twinge of incentive and gamification for staying active and getting those steps in. In addition to all that, ShiftWear offers advanced wireless charging and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Connectivity.

Check out the video below for a visual demonstration of ShiftWear in action. Want to skip that step and move right into shopping? Those enthusiasts can see the full line of sneaker options here, but do keep in mind that the cost of stepping out with ShiftWear starts around $500.

About Author

Jason Kushner is a videographer, editor, writer and filmmaker living in the Greater Atlanta Area. With an educational background combining film and journalism, Kushner has shot video and written for a myriad of publications and multimedia projects including Creative Loafing Tampa, TBO.com, Starline Films and Digital Signage Connection. His 2009 documentary American Colonies: Collapse of the Bee became an Official Selection at 12 international film festivals, won Best Documentary at the 2009 Central Florida Film Festival and a John Muir Gold Award at the 2009 Yosemite Film Festival.  In 2015, he became Digital Media Editor for Digital Signage Expo, LightShow West and LED Specifier Summit and has since become Digital Content Manager for those shows’ parent company, Exponation.

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