E-ink turns one pair of shoes into many shoes

Volvorii is a pair of chic heels with an embedded e-ink panel that can be programmed with patterns to match your outfit.

Michelle Starr Science editor
Michelle Starr is CNET's science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats.
Michelle Starr
2 min read

iShüu Technologies

It seems we're only just beginning to see the potential of e-ink. Its broadest usage is, of course, in e-readers; then there's the Pebble smart watch, the e-ink YotaPhone, the e-ink multi-card, even e-ink pricing tags for supermarket displays.

But it also has strong potential in fashion -- especially since the invention of flexible e-paper. Take the Volvorii Timeless peep-toe heels, created by new Lithuania-based startup iShüu Technologies, currently seeking funding on Indiegogo.

The shoes come in both black and white, and it can be customised to a variety of patterned outfits thanks to a flexible e-ink display that is integrated into the shoe's upper. Tucked away into a hollow carved out of the shoe's sole is a Bluetooth low-energy receiver, which allows the wearer to program the e-ink display in either block black or white, or with a pattern to match their outfit, from polka dots to animal stripes to flowers.

"The Volvorii's clean, elegant, sturdy design brings gravitas, respect and formality in an unmistakable way," the campaign page reads. "Whether you are a CEO at the apex of your industry or a prospective intern who got it as a graduation present going for your first interview in the corporate world, the Volvorii will carry you with grace."

The shoe will also have physical -- as well as digital -- customisation option. On the top of the toe and back of the heel are anchors, to which the wearer can attach accessories -- a flower or bow on the toe, for example, and an ankle strap on the back.

iShüu Technologies

Another wireless module in the sole allows the shoe's display to be charged without cables. However, because e-ink requires so little power, it will only need to be charged every few weeks at most.

So far, the iShüu team has created a working prototype, created to compete in the Louis Vuitton Prize; but now the team seeks funding to turn the prototype -- which you can see in action in the video below -- into a final product.

The team is currently offering the Volvorii Timeless shoes as a reward for an Indiegogo early bird pledge of $149, limited to 10 pairs; the regular crowdfunding price is $249. RRP is yet to be announced. The team is estimating a delivery date of December this year; you can find out more info on the Volvorii Indiegogo page.

Imelda Marcos, eat your heart out.