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New kicks with a click: ShiftWear sneakers change designs on the fly

Feel like changing the color or tone of your kicks? Want to add some funky design that only you would come up with? ShiftWear aims to make that a reality with its “badass sneakers” that can display custom designs on a whim, using an E Ink display and an app.

The New York-based startup is undergoing an Indiegogo campaign to raise $25,000 to finalize its prototype. The idea is to be able to choose different colors or designs and apply them to the E Ink display on the outer portion of the shoes. Beyond static designs and images, the shoes will be capable of displaying animations, too, the latter of which will apparently consume an untold amount of battery power. The static images, on the other hand, won’t.

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They will support wireless charging and include “walk to charge” functionality to keep topping up the battery with each step taken. A backlight will also reportedly be included to help illuminate the designs in darker conditions so others can see them.

ShiftWear is claiming some durability with these, amounting to 30 days of battery life, waterproofing up to 5 meters, and the shoes are even machine washable. The soles are coated with Kevlar fibers to add an extra layer of protection from the elements.

Taking it further, the app used to control the shoe design will also act as a marketplace to hawk your own or download some from others. It’s fairly evident from the marketing language that this will be a way to generate revenue for both the designer and ShiftWear, which would likely take a cut.

The shoes will be available in high, medium, and low tops. A pledge of $150 is enough to get a pair of low tops. Add $100 for the medium, and another $100 for the highs. If you’re interested, you can check out all the details of the campaign and back it on ShiftWear’s Indiegogo page.