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Google shows off augmented reality shoes

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augmented reality shoes (image not actual technology)Google brings augmented reality to footwear

Google has high hopes for augmented reality, and as the company becomes more entangled in the technology it is becoming more ambitious with its use. The company has shown a strong interest in the concept of wearable augmented reality systems. Currently, the company’s most well known foray into wearable AR systems in Google Glass, but last week Google began showing off a new product from its Art, Copy, and Code project. The project itself is meant to highlight technologies and products that are capable of grabbing the attention of consumers. So far, augmented reality has been one of the major focuses for the project.

High-tech shoes provide feedback to wearers

Early last week, Google showed off a pair of high-tech shoes: A pair of Adidas with a microcontroller equipped with accelerometers and gyroscopes. The shoes are meant to provide the wearer with a wide range of feedback, offering data concerning the wearer’s physical activity, or lack thereof. This information is provided through a speaker imbedded in the shoe’s tongue. Beyond the shoe’s fancy gadgetry is its ability to adopt a personality.

Shoes can adopt personality

Google claims that its high-tech shoes can formulate a personality based on the nature of its product and how it is being used. Those that lead an athletic lifestyle will imprint an athletic personality onto the shoes, which will provide audio support concerning a wearer’s activates. Those that don’t partake in gratuitous physical activity will imprint a more passive personality on to the shoes, which will express discontent when used in extensive physical activities.

Google draws attention to overlooked aspect of augmented reality

Google’s shoes represent a relatively overlooked concept in augmented reality; that is enhancing the real world through the use of interactive and adaptive technologies. Most augmented reality is seen as digital displays that are superimposed over the physical world, but the technology allows for more than just visual stimulus. Google’s shoes draw attention to another aspect of augmented reality that has nothing to do with vision, but everything to do with technology and personality. Google does not intend to make any entry into the shoe business, however, and its high-tech footwear exist only to draw attention to the capabilities of augmented reality technology.

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