NavoPed Self-Walking Shoes
Want to pimp out your feet Google-style*? To avoid unpleasant collisions with other pedestrians, telephone poles, and public fountains that just came up out of frikkin' nowhere? To slap on your sneakers and never look up from your phone again? Whether you're hoofing it through the city, traversing the 'burbs, or hiking up the mountain trail, NavoPeds will stuff your Air Jordans and introduce you to a whole new world experienced through the ergonomic soles and breathable uppers of smart, self-navigating, self-aware, self-walking shoes.
NavoPeds pair via Bluetooth to your phone and an accompanying NavoPed app. From there, you can drop a pin or type in an address and your self-walking shoes will haul you through every turn, intersection, stop, crosswalk, hazard, and other dude also not paying attention because he's looking at Ariana Grande's Instagram account along the way. NavoPeds use their own built-in GPS hardware to generate routes, but through the app interface you'll also have the same drag-and-drop rerouting options you do on many web-based map programs.
Further, the system is programmed with over 50,000 hiking trails worldwide, so you outdoor adventurers can put away you maps and compasses, and enjoy a personal tour guide, uh, laid at your feet.
NavoPed Self-Walking Shoes are also fitted with 360 degrees of motion and 3D proximity sensors to detect potential hazards and help you avert collisions. While wearing and using a pair of NavoPeds properly, they are guaranteed to keep you moving safely through pedestrian and vehicle traffic, as well as all infrastructure and stationary objects. You can literally eat tacos, read the paper, meditate, knit, and avoid making eye contact with a single person for miles.
Route you, warn you, redirect you, stop you, walk you. Do NavoPeds vibrate or light up to tell you when and where to go? Is there some sort of roller or magnetic pull? Nope across the board. They don't call NavoPeds "self-walking shoes" just because they walk themselves, but also because they walk yourself.
In a strange and interesting twist of tech, NavoPeds are able to physically bend your knees, pick up your feet, and flex and extend all those fancy leg and butt muscles that kick in as you put one foot in front of the other. They make you work just as hard as they are.
Small motors and electrodes in the braces propel your feet / legs forward (or right or left) whether you want to move or not. You don't have to keep a certain pace or rhythm, but when NavoPeds say, Walk you'll have little to choice but to respond, Aaaas youuuu wiiiiish!
But look on the bright side: what terrific motivation to exercise!
So how do NavoPeds exhibit such control over your muscular function? In another strange and interesting twist of tech, Roger Hargreaves actually developed the system for this self-walking shoes feature back in 1981. At that time, though, it was used for punishment rather than a groundbreaking life hack. Funny how a few years, a few advancements, and a huge push to figure out how to make machines do everything for us can 180 the application and bring us NavoPeds.
At printing, NavoPed reported having built several working prototypes. The company is planning to launch a crowdfunding campaign this summer.
*Google is not affiliated with NavoPed Self-Walking Shoes. But I bet they wish they were.