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Thursday, 12 January 2012

These shoes are not made for walking

Unlike the song, these shoes are not made for walking. They are made for moving at a much faster pace. Apparently, in case you are tired of walking these days, an American inventor has designed a pair of motorised shoes that can have you speeding round TESCOs faster that a granny in an electric wheelchair or a weightlifter on steroids. As Ken Dodd would have said, "Oh ahh missus", what will the neighbours think!

The "spnKiX" resemble a cross between a ski boot and a roller skate with oversized wheels (AFP, Chris Lefkow)

The battery powered high-tech footwear called "spnKiX" resemble a cross between a ski boot and a roller skate with oversized wheels and are among the gadgets on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. A user straps the motorized skates on to their shoes and away they go, gliding smoothly along at speeds of up to 16 kph. 

The futuristic shoes are the brainchild of Peter Treadway, a Los Angeles-based industrial designer. "I've been developing some form of wearable transportation since the 1990s but just in the last, say like eight years, I realized the real necessity for it," Treadway said. "I was going to lunch one day and couldn't find a place to park," he said. "So I thought 'Why don't I make something that could get me from home to someplace really close by?'

It's just turned into this fun kind of product." Treadway said each shoe has a battery and a motor and they are synchronized to work together as "sort of mirrors of each other." The rechargeable battery allows the wearer to go about 3to 5 km on a single charge and needs about two to three hours to fully juice up again.

What will we have next? A shirt that puts itself on your body? A pen that writes for you? We already have a  car, the new Ford, that parks itself. One wonders how much of this is actually useful or just clever marketing? Only time will tell.

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