Home Could connected shoes help tourists travel cities?

Could connected shoes help tourists travel cities?

Travelling in an unfamiliar city has never been easier with mapping applications like Google Maps and Apple Maps storing hundreds of thousands of restaurants, places to see, and activity centers for tourists to check out while on holiday.

However, the experience of pulling out your phone every two minutes to check you are still going in the right direction is a little obnoxious, for both you and the people you bump into on the busy streets.

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Low-cost British airline EasyJet believes it has found a solution, a pair of connected shoes called Sneakairs. The shoes—which come in EasyJet’s rather hideous safety orange—are fitted with an Arduino chip that vibrates the left or right shoe, depending on the turn.

When you arrive at the destination, both shoes will vibrate to alert you. We assume if you travel down the wrong route, say you noticed something interesting in the opposite direction, Google Maps will automatically re-route the journey.


EasyJet built shoes using Arduino tech

EasyJet built the vibrating shoes as part of its Barcelona Street Project. The device uses a miniaturized Arduino clone with a vibration module (similar to a phone’s vibration), Bluetooth low-energy, and a small battery. It utilizes Arduino Sketch, an open-source SDK for Internet of Things (IoT) devices and Google Maps Directions API to send data from the smartphone to the shoes in near real-time.

That does mean you need to take your smartphone with you, but instead of constantly checking you are in the right place, you can use it to take better Instagram photos or videos of the city.

What’s more shocking than the shoe color is that EasyJet has made an impressive product. As a Brit, EasyJet has always been one of those budget airlines that attempt to squeeze the customer of every inch of comfort and enjoyment to rake in the profits, but this is a genuine smart wearable product that could definitely be used by frequent travellers, as long as we get a few color options.

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