Light Footed: Smart Shoes Paint with Light As You Dance

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Paint with light in real-time with a pair of shoes that not only have 100 LED lights embedded into the sole, but are also fitted with advanced motion tracking sensors to put on a dazzling show matched to your movements. Orphan by Japanese startup No New Folk Studio is a programmable performance shoe that can be set to blink and change color according to the speed and orientation of the dancer’s movements.

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The Orphe shoes are essentially an artistic medium, bringing technology, dance and light painting together in a highly customizable experience. Users can either use the accompanying app to communicate with the shoes via Bluetooth, or pre-program their own effects. But the functionality goes beyond personal expression.

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“The 9-axis sensors embedded in each sole pick up the movements of each shoe in real time. This data can then be used to wirelessly control various external devices, allowing the shoes to function as musical instruments, video game controllers, foot switches, etc.”

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Each shoe contains a small circuitboard with an ARM Cortex-M3 microprocessor, a tracking device, a wireless module and a charging circuit as well as the LED light strip. The project is currently seeking funding on IndieGoGo, with backers snagging their own pair for $270 as a reward.