SXSW: Google’s Talking Shoe Motivates You to Move
Google has a knack for going big at SXSW. Last year, the company created an entire village near the Convention Center. This year, just outside the convention center, Google has opened a “playground.” And what better way to experience the playground than with a shoe that taunts you with a male, British voice.
It’s not intended to be a consumer product — the project comes out of Google’s Art, Copy, & Code initiative, whose tagline is “Advertising Re-imagined.” With an Arduino board, some key sensors (pedometer, gyroscope, etc.), and a bit of snarky code, the shoe tracks how active you are and will respond accordingly with either faint praise or biting sarcasm. A branding initiative that’s also an art project that attempts to recapture youth using technology? Sounds exactly like the SXSW we know. But maybe we’re just bitter about being out of shape — after all, it did call us a walking zombie.