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You're going to flip at smart flip-flops, only $110

Commentary: A company called Hari Mari believes that you want your flip-flops to communicate with the brand. You do, don't you?

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In the future, your shoes will speak.

Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It's a feeling you've had many times while lying on the beach, I'm sure.

"Why can't my darned flip-flops talk to the Walgreens where I bought them?"

For you, I have (sort of) good news. Footwear brand Hari Mari has launched flip-flops that are, wait for it, smart.

Revealed in Fast Company, these special flip-flops use a technology developed by Prova, a company owned by former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith. He placed an NFC chip (well, Dallas is an NFC team) inside his company's shirts and other apparel, so that people could check whether they're genuine.

Hari Mari seems to have more elevated goals. Its problem is that people often buy these flip-flops in stores, so the company has no way of tracking who these people are, how much they wear the flip-flops and whether they have bunions.

So why not track them through their flip-flops? It's so very contemporary, no?

The Hari Mari flip-flops were designed in conjunction with baseball glove maker Nokona. When you buy a pair, you can then download an app on your phone. This connects gloriously with your flip-flops and sends back messages to Hari Mari such as "sand," "water," "clinic."

I jest slightly. Hari Mari co-founder Jeremy Stewart told me: "We're interested to know basic customer and purchase information, so we can garner a better idea of who our customers are, which of our products they prefer, and what they like to do in our footwear from an activities standpoint, so we can better tailor future products, content and marketing to their preferences."

Marketing? Who'd have imagined? Now Hari Mari can send you more of those witty commercial emails that you spend half your day deleting.

You might not find the price funny. At $110, it's not for those on a shoestring budget.

But it is for those who work at Hari Mari, because the benefit seems entirely theirs. They're frustrated that they don't have huge amounts of data on their customers, so they've found a sneak(er)y way of doing it.

I asked Jeremy Stewart how much the chip added to the cost of the shoe.

"We don't disclose costs," he told me. "But if we're able to better serve our customers with relevant content and products in the short term, and build the app out in the long term to include a robust Hari Mari customer service platform, the value-add to the customer experience would make any additional costs well worth it."

Such a value-add. Your tummy flip-flops with excitement, doesn't it?

I was most moved, however, by co-founder Lila Stewart offering Fast Company a delicious glimpse of the future: "If this works well for us, I could easily see this becoming the norm in the fashion industry."

Hi, this is Nike. That shirt's much too tight on you. You're putting on weight. We have special deals on XXL shirts now!

Greetings from Athleta. You've got a hole in your leggings. United Airlines might not let you fly on Friday. Order new leggings now and we promise free 24-hour delivery!

Versace here. You're in Miami? We have some garish shoes at huge discounts!

Special Reports: All of CNET's most in-depth features in one easy spot.

It's Complicated: This is dating in the age of apps. Having fun yet? These stories get to the heart of the matter.