ShiftWear sneakers turn your footwear into a blank canvas that displays HD-quality images.

ShiftWear Wants to Turn Your Sneakers Into a Canvas for Your Favorite Images

ShiftWear Wants to Turn Your Sneakers Into a Canvas for Your Favorite Images

The Eye
Slate’s design blog.
Dec. 2 2015 2:58 PM

ShiftWear Wants to Turn Your Sneakers Into a Canvas for Your Favorite Images

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ShiftWear wants to help you turn your footwear into a walking canvas for HD-quality images and animations.

Courtesy of ShiftWear

Does the world need smartphone-controlled sneakers whose design you can change as easily as your screensaver, turning your feet into yet another vehicle for a seizure-inducing GIF? Probably not. Nevertheless, startup ShiftWear, which is currently raising funds on Indiegogo, has come up with a concept that promises wearers the ability to art-direct their footwear via a mobile app with an endless stream of HD-quality images and animations.

ButterflyColor

Courtesy of ShiftWear

Powered by the wearer’s movements via a “walk and charge” system, the shoes, which are still in the prototype phase, use HD color-flexible e-paper displays and Bluetooth-enabled software that allows them to communicate with the ShiftWear mobile app, the founders say.

The idea seems novel, but it’s part of a larger trend toward mass-customization in the fashion and design worlds: Consumers are given a smidgen of control over the look of the final product that might appeal to their desire for self-expression but often adds up to nothing more than a gimmicky nod to co-creation.

PlayInk

Courtesy of ShiftWear

There’s no guarantee that today’s crowdfunding darling will develop into a viable, seamlessly working product, but the ShiftWear campaign has already raked in nearly $100,000 in preorders.

Kristin Hohenadel's writing on design has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Fast Company, Vogue, Elle Decor, Lonny, and Apartment Therapy.