If Batman had special shoes, they probably would look something like this; “Quick, into the Batshoes! There’s no time to waste!” If you can’t be bothered with tying the laces on your sneakers, you can just fire up your smartphone and have the shoes tighten themselves for you.
This may strike some as being a bit frivolous, but this is the Smartshoe from Digitsole. The company first showed up on our radar at CES 2015 with a shoe that could warm your feet and let you control the temperature with a smartphone app. They also make smart insoles that can track your steps, and should be more accurate for most activities than a wristband. The Digitsole is the logical extension of these initial products. In addition to the auto-tighten feature, it also heats your feet and counts your steps. And the smartphone app provides a range of features, including analysis of your walking gait, activity tracking, and even monitoring the cushioning in the shoe. It lets you know when it’s time to replace them. If you don’t use the heating feature, the company says that the show will work for “a couple of weeks” between recharging.
If you are starting to think that these may be a bit expensive, you probably won’t be disappointed. For a pledge of $229 on their Kickstarter campaign, you’ll get a pair when they start shipping (which is expected to be December). This represents a 60% discount off the $599 retail price. In other words, they cost about the same as a decent smartwatch. That would be a lot for a pair of shoes with a powered hatch, but some users may find that the rest of the features make them a reasonable value. This auto-tighten feature could also be helpful for seniors and others with limited mobility, but the price might be a bit of a barrier for them.