If you’re reading this, it is overwhelmingly likely that you own at least one pair of shoes.
But your shoes are probably single-purpose products that have thus far been left out of the multi-purpose-product revolution.
Your phone is also a camera, map, flashlight, web browser, and more—why are your shoes just shoes and nothing else?
This is especially troublesome since shoes are something that people have on or near their person all the time. Why not add useful functionality to these ever-present items?
Fig 1: An old fashioned shoe with no additional features.
There are many possibilities for adding Swiss-army-knife-like additional functionality to shoes. In decreasing order of plausibility:
- A ruler.
- Wireless house keys / car keys (a remote bluetooth / WiFi / RFID sensor that will automatically unlock your front door or start your car).
- “Medic alert” bracelet info. If you are unconscious, paramedics can check the bottom of your shoe for a list of allergies.
- A backup cell phone battery in the heel.
- An entire backup cell phone. Just be sure to keep it charged! This is basically the shoe from the 1965 TV series “Get Smart.”
- An inflatable life vest, in case you fall off a ferry. Water-soluble shoelaces will prevent you from being trapped upside-down in your life-vest-shoes once you fall into the water.
- An emergency beacon, like the ones that can be rented / bought for a long hiking / camping trip in the wilderness.
- Bear repellant. Click your heels together, and a huge aerosolized cloud of bear-repellant will spray out everywhere.
Fig 2: With this shoe ruler, or “shruler,” an architect or interior designer would never have a problem determining exact dimensions. Not useful in case of bear attacks, however.
Now you can shop for function, fashion, AND features next time you buy footwear!
PROS: Medic alert and emergency beacon shoes may save thousands of lives a year.
CONS: You might be wearing the wrong shoes for the occasion; maybe a bear attacks you while you’re wearing the life vest shoes, or you fall off a boat while wearing the anti-bear shoes.