Wearable technology brand, Amazfit, crowdfunded its first pair of smart sneakers.
The shoes can be used with Amazfit’s dedicated running sensor, connected to the Mi-Fit mobile app, to track the wearer’s activity.
While most people rely on wristbands or a strapped-on smartphone to count daily steps and calculate calorie intake, the Antelope footgear makes the process easy and invisible.
The embedded electronics “document everyday movements … and more advanced aspects of the run, including foot strike and touchdown times,” according to media site PSFK. “The shoe is built with a breathable sole and elastic responsive cushioning that acts as a shock absorber.”
Promoted via China’s Youpin crowdfunding platform, the ¥199 (an oddly cheap $31) running shoe raised a whopping ¥12,219,197 ($1,927,517) and is expected to begin shipping May 17 (whether that’s in 2018 or 2019 remains unclear).
Little is known about the actual product – which features a Goodyear rubber outsole, breathable insoles, and a “light waterproof” material – most of the Youpin marketing is in Chinese.
It’s unclear whether the Antelope trainers will be sold outside of Asia; there is no mention of them on the U.S. Amazfit website.
Following the launch of its own Mi Band fitness tracker, Xiaomi subsidiary, Amazfit, introduced the Pace sports smartwatch in August 2016; the firm now counts seven activity trackers, manufactured by Huami, another Xiaomi-owned outfit.
"As this product is not being sold internationally yet, I can’t provide a lot of detail," a Huami spokesman told Geek.com in an email.
The "smart shoe" is not a novel concept: Various players have already released intelligent trackers for your feet. Under Armour and Altra have opted for ingrained technology, allowing the user to simply lace up and go.
Others, like miCoach and RunScribe, invented an attachable gadget that mounts to your shoe; then there are the smart insoles that turn any pair of shoes into a drill sergeant.