The first time we have encountered LED shoes was in the early 1990s when LA Gear made shoes that were originally designed for kids. These pairs soon became a hit but after a few years, the popularity waned. Several decades after, these shoes that light up are now back in the scene.
These pairs slowly picked up and are now regaining popularity. Today, there is a new breed of footwear designed for performers and artists. These are also LED sneakers similar to the ones we have been used to but much better. While most of the shoes that have LEDs also have Bluetooth connectivity, these new shoes developed by No New Folk Studio and a brainchild of a 29-year old inventor, Yuya Kikukawa, are programmable.
With the use of the free iOs and Android app, these shoes can light up at a speed and frequency that the user so desires. This is because these shoes have important parts that make this all possible. Orphe shoes have a circuit board with a microprocessor, a 9-axis advanced sensor and BLE wireless module to ensure the lights blink as programmed. Moreover, the LED lights embedded in the sole are around 100 pieces, not just a dozen or so like other LED shoe brands.
The app that is available for Android and iOS users can be used to create animation, design the color of the light and make the shoes respond to the dance step of the artist. There is also an app for macOS, data recording is also possible via the motion sensor embedded in the shoes. This also allows the user to turn it into a Virtual Reality controller and a musical instrument.
With Orphe shoes, you can also customize a “scene” which is a set of sound patterns and light that is also changeable. Also, in the future, the scene you have programmed can also be shared with your friends using the cloud server. As for professional use, it is also possible to come up with your very own performance by teaming up with a music composer or using other applications.
How does Orphe Shoes Work?
There are two ways to program the LEDs. One way is to connect to the app via Bluetooth connectivity. The second method is done by pre-programming the shoes using the app so these sneakers will light up as the dancer moves.
Dubbed as “smart footwear”, these shoes are so-called since they have sensors to track down movements made by the dancer and the LED lights will respond to these actions and light up. Moreover, these pairs are not just products of skillful hands of shoe designers but the developers combined shoe-making with technology.
These shoes come in two colors, black and white. The colors were deliberately used to ensure the wearer can enjoy the full potential of the LED lights. These shoes can also be used by connecting them to the free app the developers created specifically for Orphe sneakers. Moreover, the developers are planning to release a Software Development Kit (SDK) to make it possible for other developers to come up with software that is compatible with the shoes. This means that in the future, buyers of these sneakers can have different options when using their shoes.