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Orphe ‘Smart Shoes’ Light Up Every Performance

Remember those light-up shoes you had as a kid? Well, they just got updated into the 21st century. Check out Orphe: the smart shoes with built-in movement sensors and LED lights.

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The Japanese company No New Folk Studio designed the shoes to serve as a canvas for dancers and performance artists, according to their Indiegogo page. Each shoe contains over a hundred serially-controlled LED lights and advanced motion sensors. And Orphe is rightfully nicknamed the ‘smart-shoe’ because the Bluetooth chip in the sneakers makes it possible to control the lights with a smartphone or tablet.

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The shoes can actually be controlled in two ways. You can either use the connected app that corresponds with the shoes via Bluetooth during the performance, or create pre-made designs using the smartphone/tablet application. Designs made with the Orphe-app can be uploaded to the shoes later. The lights can be set to different speeds and colors and the finished designs can be easily shared online with other Orphe-users.

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The sensors in the shoes can pick up movements in real-time. “These data can then be used to wirelessly control various external devices, allowing the shoes to function as musical instruments, video game controllers, foot switches, etc.”, the designers write on their website.

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Orphe isn’t just a handy tool though; they’re also quite fashionable, as No New Folk Studio wanted to make a pair of shoes that look good regardless of what color the lights are. “Finding a way to make shoes that have batteries and a host of electronic components inside them has been very challenging”, the designers write, “but through close collaboration between a traditional shoemaker and our engineers we’ve been able to achieve a minimalist design that functions well both as an interface and as footwear.”

If you’re excited about this awesome footwear, you might have to save up a little before rushing to the store. Since Orphe is still in its early stages, the designers are still crowdfunding to actually produce the shoes. Therefore you have to pledge at least $270 to receive an early bird kit, containing the shoes and the app. The first production trials are scheduled for October, so you still have enough time to put some money aside!

Visit Orphe’s Indiegogo page for more information.