E-ink technology has definitely been on the rise lately. The amazing, monochrome, low-powered panels are what has basically allowed the e-reader market to sprawl. And while you would expect to find a e-ink display in a handheld device, the guys over at Ishuu Technologies have found a more unconventional use for the tech.
Their extravagant brain child is called Volvorii and it is basically a smart pair of high heels, which have a plastic e-ink display stretching along the surface. That display is hooked up to a tiny controller board, hidden away inside the thick sole, which offers Bluetooth LE connectivity and has a small battery with wireless charging.
What this allows is for the user to change the color of the flexible display panel from white to black, different levels of gray and even a pattern. This is done through a smartphone and the idea is pretty obvious – make a pair of shoes that is more universal and could potentially quench the constant shoe-craving some ladies seem to suffer from, or, at least, lessen it a bit.
Now, there are a few unanswered question here, straight off the bat. First of all, why? Besides, of course, the obvious – “because we can”, the Volvorii doesn’t really seem like a very marketable product and will mostly be confined to impulse, geeky purchases, if it ever sees the light of day, that is. Another concern, is that the shoes, aren’t actually “full-chameleon” and the function seems to be limited adapting small accents of the footwear, to your color needs. But if you buy a black shoe, it will, for the most part, at least, stay absolutely as black as the day you bought it, no matter how smart the tech inside is.
And that’s the other thing. The pattern Ishuu Technologies is referring to seems to be a preset thing, not user adjustable. We could be wrong, of course, but the blurred out parts of the presentation clip seemed to showcase only one model – one with the famous Louis Vuitton pattern. (Yes the blur is not very effective if you’re going to call the color setting “LV”). But we digress.
The Volvorii e-ink shoe is definitely a peculiarity and if not anything else, it scores big on innovation. The project is currently up on Indiegogo, looking to crowd-source a total of $50,000, which, doesen’t seem to be going that well. Anyway, the team still has 25 days to go and if you are seriously interested in odd techy apparel, there is still an early-bird special going for $199 that will get you a pair, if it eventually gets manufactured.