How many times have you tweeted or posted on Facebook or checked LinkedIn updates oruploaded on Instagram or pinned things on Pinterest or browsed the Internet today alone?
At Anatomic & Co, we’ve collaborated with the clever bods at University College London (UCL) in creating the world’s first sociable shoe to help people tune in or tune out as they please: the In Good Company shoe. Alistair Moore, Deputy Director of Entrepreneurship, UCL Advances and Moema Pimentel, Anatomic’s MD and chief designer explain why and how…
Q: It’s said we check our phones at least 85 times a day. But are we being sociable – or anti-social?
Alistair: People today want more control over technology and the demands it places on us – but without going the whole way and feeling isolated from the world. Anatomic & Co conducted a survey that found over one fifth of Brits think their real life relationships are negatively impacted by their connected devices. 68% of people would like to take a digital detox and switch off their connected devices.
Moema: Being connected is good but is it too much? That’s the question. Many people want to find the balance and ensure technology doesn’t negatively affect their relationships. One-third of people say it’s rude when friends are flicking through their mobiles.
Q: How was the ‘In Good Company’ shoe created?
Alistair: The students in UCL’s computer sciences department collaborated with Anatomic to create a ‘sociable shoe’. The technology inside the rubber sole connects you to an app on your mobile by Bluetooth. Many people don’t want to switch off their phone when with family and friends in case they miss out on anything. So, unlike having to sort out preferences on your mobile each time to avoid distractions, you simply personalise your settings on the app to filter out, or turn off, unwanted social media updates, messages and calls.
Moema: The In Good Company shoe is a beautiful classic brogue with an electric blue rubber sole. People have been wearing technology for a long time now and this is another innovative example of a ‘wellbeing wearable’. Our sociable shoe is simply a manifestation of Anatomic & Co’s mission to make the world a more sociable place to live.
Q: So ‘smart wear’ takes on a double meaning with this shoe?
Moema: Exactly – the In Good Company shoe certainly creates a whole new meaning for smart shoes. They look good and feel good – and will do good as well.
Alistair: This shoe certainly delivers against UCL’s mission to work on innovative research. By subverting the principles of the ‘Internet of Things’ and bringing mindfulness closer to technology, I wouldn’t be surprised if we start to see more products like this over the coming years.
Read more about the In Good Company shoe or watch our video.