Fitness trackers have become mainstream in the last few years and with technology advancing, we see them getting cheaper as well as more powerful. Wearable technology is undoubtedly the future and brands are scrambling to develop accessories that can find practical usage in our life.
We've already seen smart glasses, smart clothing, in-body RFID chips, smart shoes, and more. What's interesting is, wearable technology simply isn't new. There have been numerous prototypes and limited consumers products going back to the '90s. One prime example is the Puma RS-Computer, a running shoe produced in limited quantity by the athletic goods maker way back in 1986.
In 1986, the Running System (RS) Computer Shoe housed a not-so-small computer system at the rear. It could measure speed, distance, and calories burned. Runners had to then connect the shoe via a 16-pin connector to any Apple IIE, Commodore 64, or IBM PC to view their data.
Puma is bringing back the 1986 RS-Computer but you no longer need a computer from the '80s to access the data. The new edition will look the same as the 1986 version but has a technologically updated interface. They now pack a three-axis accelerometer, enough memory to store a full month's worth of exercise data, wireless Bluetooth connectivity and a USB port for charging.
To keep the retro feel alive, the modern app gets a retro finish with 8-bit style graphics and even has an 8-bit game inside it. Puma is keeping the look of the original shoes, right down to the protruding heel and the colors.
"The 2018 iteration has new technology but replicates the original experience," Puma says.
Adidas too had released similar shoes called the Micropacer in 1984. They didn't connect to a computer though, a small screen on the shoe tongue displayed all the compiled data.
The company says it will be making only 86 pairs that will be sold online and at Puma stores in Berlin, Tokyo, and London, as well as KITH retailers. Unfortunately, the pricing hasn't been announced yet.