A Step In The Right Direction

Stefan Dukaczewski, a multi-disciplinary designer working for MSTRPLN, collaborated with Ubiq Boutique in developing a line of sneakers called ‘A Step in the Right Direction’ (ASRD(. The shoes combine advanced footwear with wearable technology; with every step, these sneakers detect Wi-Fi wireless Internet hot-spots and display the result via three LEDs.

MSTRPLN re-engineered a specific shoe model – Nike Dunkand added technical features in order to make it suitable for this project. The sneakers also have a lace-saver, reminiscent of the skate shoes that were in style in the late 80’s. In addition to conventional lacing, MSTRPLN’s and Ubiq‘s ASRD sneakers can also be laced internally with speed loops.

Integrated under the flap of the left shoe is a wireless Internet detection unit that scans for Wi-Fi signals in a 50 meter radius. This unit starts scanning when pressure is applied to the pressure sensitive insole. Three LEDs indicating the signal’s strength are located on the shoe’s flap. The LEDs blink when no Wi-Fi signal is detected, and glow steadily once a signal is detected.

Other innovative shoes covered by TFOT include the Xplorer GPS Smart shoe, which tracks the wearer’s location and can provide a history of their whereabouts, and a vibrating shoe, which uses electricity to make vibrations. TFOT also covered a new device developed by Nike in order to help athletes keep a systematic and healthy practice schedule, called the Nike+ Sportband. The sport band is worn on one’s wrist during running, jumping, or any other physical activity, and analyzes data collected during the workout either in real-time or later, on the user’s PC.

More information about the ASRD line of footwear can be found on MSTRPLN’s official webpage.