Is It the Shoes?? It’s GOTTA Be the Shoes…The Smart Clothes Era Is Here (Video)

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Back in the late 80s, Mars Blackmon famously asked Michael Jordan if it was his shoes that allowed him to do the things he did on the court. Now, nearly 30 years later, the days of “smart” sneaks just might be here.

From street wear to haute couture, Hip-Hop has surely left its mark on fashion, perhaps more influentially than any other culture in recent memory. However, it may be on its way to making a much bigger statement than ever imagined in the days of the Kangols, shell-toed Adidas, Coogis or Air Jordans. While the Apple Watch has sparked conversations about “wearable tech,” Google has launched its own mad-scientist venture, hoping to make technology not only the latest accessory, but a tool for the complete reinvention of connecting to the digital world through clothing.

At the heart of the tech juggernaut’s latest vision is conductive fabric, a utilitarian textile that can include things like sensors and be weaved into items like pants, towels, and hundreds of other quotidian products. The idea is for our clothes and tech to “talk” to each other, so that our lives can become even more streamlined and convenient. A touch of a sleeve or a swipe of a jean might send a message to a friend or pull up listings of the closest movie theater.

As our lives become increasingly framed within a self-enclosed paradigm, where extemporaneous interactions with life are eschewed for digital alternatives, talking drawers seems a mere step towards the dystopian future we’ve been warned about for generations. The age-old schism between those who champion innovation and those who fear its harmful potential surely won’t be put to rest any time soon, but for now, there is solace knowing that Google can’t remind us that our kicks are no longer fresh…

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