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Shoe Puts Mouth in Foot

Google's new Talking Shoe keeps the wearer connected, but advertisers are likely to run down this as a two-way street. Larry Greenemeier reports

The world’s first “Smart phone” [Maxwell Smart audio] gave TV viewers a preview of wearable communications. Get Smart got one thing wrong, though. Instead of talking to our shoes, our shoes are talking to us.

Google’s prototype Talking Shoe was introduced at this week’s South by Southwest show. It uses an accelerometer, a gyroscope and Bluetooth to assess a wearer’s position and make snarky comments based on where that person is and what they might be doing.

Curiously, Google positions the Talking Shoe as both an art project and an advertising platform that can post your whereabouts and activities directly to Google+. This, of course, gives Google advertisers a rich source of data they can use to try to sell you any number of products and services.

Add Google Glass augmented reality eyewear and Apple’s rumored iWatch to your wardrobe, and you’re practically guaranteed to be the living embodiment of social media, never far from information or your online fan base. Just be sure you don’t mind selling your sole in a Footsian bargain, and giving up any shred of privacy.

—Larry Greenemeier

[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]

 

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