Google shows off a talking shoe

At SXSW, you're there to show your very best, most creative side. So Google does just that.

Perfect for a higher definition of footsee. Engadget Screesnhot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

"I am killing you."

So said the tired foot to the head.

This is just one scenario I envisage with the latest -- and perhaps most imaginative -- product coming out of Google.

Not content with suggesting that you should put on a pair of tasteless glasses in order to get Martha Stewart's latest pierogi recipe, Google yesterday unveiled an even more sensational wearable product from its magic hat.

As Engadget reports, the company peopled its Google Playground with a man holding a pair of Adidas sneakers that talked.

It makes the self-driving car seem like a corn-flakes bowl.

This Adidas sneaker enjoys a microcontroller on the tongue. I know many people who could certainly use one of those.

It has an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and so many many technical goodies.

The result is that it monitors all the things that are happening down below and then expresses them to you in words. Yes, through a microphone.

But there's more. As the nice Google spokesperson described it, the shoe uses data to adopt "a personality," something Google strives for in all of its products.

If you start running and the shoe has an athletic personality, it will cheer you on. But if it has a lazy personality, it will get upset with you for being athletic.

My head is killing me at the thought that Google doesn't intend to zap its way into the shoe business. It is merely interested in "showing off what's possible with data."

This is a deep pity.

There is something vividly beautiful about wearing a shoe that is, at heart, as substitute lover.

It has a personality. It whines, it nags, it praises.

And, unlike your lover, the only thing you need to feed it is data.

Updated 2:29 p.m. PT Google has contacted me, just in case anyone, anywhere might be waiting for this (other other) shoe to drop. No, these shoes will never thud upon the market. A spokeswoman told me that this is "an experiment, as part of a broader marketing program, to spark conversations with brand marketers and agencies." Presumably this is a conversation about how to market shoes that talk to you. Or something.

 

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