Walk this way: Sneakairs are smart sneakers meant to replace your map

Some shoes are made for walking, but now others are being made to tell you where to walk. British airline easyJet recently unveiled the prototype for Sneakairs — footwear that directs wearers to a destination.

The Sneakairs are embedded with GPS sensors that connect to your mobile phone via Bluetooth and the easyJet mobile app. Once you input your destination into the easyJet app, the shoes will set off a variety of  vibrations to let you know which direction to turn, whether or not if you are off course, or if you have reached your destination. The easyJet app’s navigation tools are powered by Google Maps and Google Map Directions API.

Sneakairs are a part of easyJet’s recently launched Barcelona Street Project. The transmitter device which connects the Sneakairs with your mobile phone is placed in between the sneakers’ cushion insert and sole. The transmitter is encased in a 3D printed plastic housing to protect the device from being damaged, so sweat from a long trek won’t disrupt the system.

The Sneakairs prototypes were tested at a recent Barcelona Street Project event. The testers walked to such Barcelona landmarks as Gaudi’s Casa La Pedrera and Casa Batllo with just the Sneakairs as the guide. While there is no crowdfunding page for the Sneakairs, the Barcelona Street Project’s official website encourages people to share the news in order to make Sneakairs a reality.

The first place you will be able to get your hands on this new way of ground transportation may be in the sky. EasyJet’s marketing director Peter Duffy said the airline is currently “looking at making this technology available for purchase on-board in the future,” according to a press release.

Related: Shoemaking reconsidered: Under Armour reveals 3D-printed sneakers

For an airline, easyJet has been adamant about helping passengers get around through progressive tech. Last year, the airline introduced Mobile Host, an update to its easyJet app which tells passengers everything about their flight from arrival time, directions to gate, and even the best bag drop area.

At some point, you may be able to get a pair of smart sneakers with your in-flight bag of peanuts.


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