For “Pokémon Go” enthusiasts, the shoes vibrate when a Pokémon is near.

Startup company Vixole
has created a prototype for interactive LED sneakers that are compatible with
virtual and augmented reality games, such as Pokémon Go. 

Pikachu-vixole

The pair of smart shoes, deemed Matrix,
interacts wirelessly with your mobile device and provides feedback that doesn’t
require the user to remove their phone from their pocket. The company embeds
eight different sound and motion-responsive sensors, including an accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, near
field communication sensor (NFC), sound sensor, bending sensor, brightness
sensor, and vibrator motor that provide alerts.

The accelerometer, gyroscope, and
magnetometer work as a whole to support Vixole’s motion capture system that is used in interactive design and gaming. NFC
works hand in hand with the social feature of the shoe, and the sound sensor
allows interaction of sound. The bending sensor measures how much your foot
bends, which can be beneficial regarding
gaming. And of course, the brightness
sensor lets users change the brightness
of the screen.

vixole-matrix

The vibrator is
typically used as a GPS feature. However, a user can also configure the
vibration motor to alert when a Pokémon is near, and it can also be used to
provide feedback from other apps. So those who do not play Pokémon Go could
benefit from the product as a way to discretely receive notifications on their
devices.

Vixole’s Matrix shoes will be equipped with a CPU that controls all
sensors in the footbed and helps communicate with the mobile device via
Bluetooth.

“All these sensors will not be limited to the
features listed above. We will make it open source. Our users can do anything
with it,” said Jackson Dong, Vixole’s co-founder.

vixole-matrix2

Another noteworthy feature is that the
flexible matrix LED display wraps around the back of the shoe, is programmable,
and can be customized to show any image the user chooses.

Currently, the Vixole Matrix is in its concept stage and is not yet available for
purchase. However, the company has begun funding for the project on Indiegogo,
so interested users can head here
to check the shoes out.