These sneakers vibrate – TechCrunch
Sometimes it seems like you can hear a song all the way in your toes. With these new sneakers, you actually can.
Meet the new EP 01 sneakers out of DropLabs. Yes, you read that right. We’re talking about sneakers.
Invented by a man named Brock Seiler, and led by former Beats by Dre CEO Susan Paley, DropLabs aims to take audio to a whole new level by syncing music, movies and other audio to shoes that vibrate the soles of your feet.
It started when Seiler, who works in the music industry, was standing in a side room at a recording studio while a band was recording. He could feel every beat and low note in the song in his feet while standing over this particular patch of floor, and wanted to experience all music like that, as though he could feel the energy of the stage itself.
Eventually, Paley signed on as CEO of DropLabs and the EP 01 was born.
The EP 01 is a slightly chunky sneaker that’s equipped with Bluetooth, a speaker-grade transducer and a power source to sync with almost any audio. As a movie or music or video game plays, the sneaker picks up the audio and sends it as a perfectly synced vibration right to the soles of your feet. For big, thunderous steps of a T-Rex in Jurassic World, the vibrations are heavy and full. For the pitter-patter of the townspeoples’ footsteps in Red Dead: Redemption II, the vibrations are light and muted.
What’s more, the vibrations are slightly directional. Noise that’s coming from the right vibrates on the right, and vice versa, which can be particularly impactful while playing video games.
Indeed, Paley sees gaming as a huge opportunity to enter the market. Audio, and particularly good directional audio, is incredibly important for gamers who compete at a high level. The growth of esports has allowed a number of brands to emerge as the “X for gamers,” not least of which being energy drinks.
DropLabs has an opportunity to market to gamers, offering a more immersive experience across their games and potentially even a competitive advantage.
Paley explained to TechCrunch that the brain actually functions…