MANILA, Philippines – Puma may have just stolen the show for gadget fans just before the year ends.
The shoemaker announced the rerelease of a 1986 shoe with fitness tracking features that were certainly ahead of its time.
Today, people use smartwatches or other wrist-worn fitness trackers to measure and record the time they spend running, the distance they’ve covered, and the calories they’ve burned. For those without dedicated trackers, smartphones can also do the job.
Before these gadgets did those duties though, Puma’s RS-Computer shoe had been able to do these fitness-tracking tricks. It recorded time, distance, and calories burned, using a computer chip housed in the back of the shoe, with the housing jutting out conspicuously.
The data it captured could be transferred to a computer, specifically an Apple IIE or Commodore 64 computer using a 16-pin cord. It is not known how accurate the shoe was in capturing runner’s data but its existence over 30 years ago tells you that there has always been a desire for athletes to use tech to improve their performance.
In the 2018 version, the shoe no longer connects through a 16-pin cord. Instead, it uses a Bluetooth connection, and a USB cable for charging. An Android and iOS app will also be coming, which Puma says will use 8-bit graphics and will include an 8-bit game.
The pair is set to be a big collectible especially among retro-tech lovers, with only 86 pairs – a reference to its original release year – slated to be released. The shoes will be carried in Puma stores in Berlin, Tokyo, and London, as well as KITH retailers beginning December 13, US time.
Some other tech specs: It has a 3-axis accelerometer, can record 30 days worth of data and uses a rechargeable lithium-polymer battery. – Rappler.com