SuperShoes – tickling shoes that facilitate urban rediscovery from Dhairya Dand on Vimeo.

How often do we spend time looking around us when we walk the city today? We could be spending a lot of time with our eyes fixed on the screens of our smartphones to navigate and give us information about where to eat and things-to-do. Can our eyes wander from our phones to make sense of the place we are travelling? The brilliant thing about SUPERSHOES is the opportunity to live in the moment of walking without compromising the assurance and certainty that we get by consulting our smartphones.

What is it?

It’s a pair of inner soles with vibrotactile motors which can be flexed to be placed in any shoes. These motors are connected to your smartphone which sends tickling signals to convey certain messages.

The pros

It features a few helpful functions:

1. It navigates

2. It guides you to your place of interest

3. It reminds you to get things done along the way

4. It recognizes your daily schedule and suggests places for you to take a break

5. It introduces new routes to your everyday destination

The cons

1. Every new invention as such requires a fresh start for us to learn, familiarize and understand the (many) information conveyed to us. In this case, the language is tactile (not for the ticklish!). The time taken to acquire the ability to understand it varies for every individual, although most of us would claim to be tech savvy.

2. In time when we adapt our everyday to the technology, can we act instinctively (and confidently) without it? (Perhaps the common downside of extreme dependence on artificial intelligence)

Nonetheless, SUPERSHOES is quite an exciting product to look forward to. The pros far outweigh the cons since the cons are subjective to individuals’ discernment. It could very well develop into a product that aids those with visual impairment. Indeed, better shoes are made of these.