Japanese footwear brand Onitsuka Tiger and fashion label Anrealage have teamed to produce the world's first augmented reality sneakers. The shoes — called the Anrealage Monte Z — look like a regular pair of sneakers until you view them through Anrealage's new AR app. Once viewed through the app, they become unlike any pair of sneakers that have ever existed.
I'm just as surprised as you are.
Now, AR sneakers may be the invention that no one really asked for, but we're getting them so we might as well see what they have to offer.
The Anrealage Monte Z's are fairly plain leather, black-and-white sneakers. Lacking laces and much decoration, these sneakers look like a hybrid of white New Balance sneakers, black duct tape, and Crocs. Personally, I wouldn't wear them, but they're not the most outrageous or unfashionable shoes I've ever seen.
While the shoes aren't that remarkable on their own, what sets them apart is the AR technology integrated into them. To explore this feature, you must download Anrealage's free AR app. Once you have the app on your phone — all 300 MB of it, you simply scan it over your shoes to view them through your phone's camera. Well, actually, you only scan one shoe. The catch to this exciting technology is that the AR feature only works for the left sneaker. If you think that's a bummer, keep reading. It gets worse.
According to Mashable, the app is fairly difficult to maneuver and takes several tries before it properly scans your shoe. Once you get it to work, you're rewarded with — get this — a logo popping up on your screen. Yup, that's it. The big reveal is simply an image of the Anrealage logo.
To ensure that this AR feature keeps working, owners of the shoes have to keep them clean and in good condition. Wrinkles and wear on the sneakers could make the app less reactive than it already is. Folks, think long and hard before purchasing a pair of these sneakers. Certainly, pick them up if you like how they look, but the AR technology appears to be a bit faulty.
While these shoes have their issues, their existence supports the notion that AR is growingly increasingly prominent in society. Just like Apple CEO Tim Cook said back in February, AR "could improve a lot of lives." Although these shoes may not be doing much to support this, there's no doubt that AR is the future.
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Gifs from OnitsukaTigerHQ/YouTube