These shoes change patterns and colours at your command

Say hello to the Shift sneaker

How many times have you reached a party, a casual gathering or, erm, arrived at the precise time set by your date and wondered if you have worn the right clothes and shoes?

While the technology that lets you manipulate clothing might take some time to arrive, a UK-based company has plotted wild plans to, at the very least, let you change the way your sneakers look, at will.

Do not mistake +rehabstudio, a UK-based company, for a place where worn-out teen celebs go to contemplate on plans to return to sanity. Instead, here the brains behind the ‘Shift’ project are concocting ideas that will enable you to change the look of your sneakers via an app on your smartphone in a jiffy.


A million shoes in one

At the very core, the tech uses a fusion of conductive and reactive textiles with adept fibers. So, when you chose the colour for the upper on the app and tap the button, the sneaker instantly  computes and transforms its fabric to suit your look better for the said occasion. The sorcery is all thanks to the ‘Phase Change’ fibers and ‘Shape Memory’ materials that let the shoe shift through various designs that are chosen by the user. If you thought that bit was insane, brace yourselves for the next bit.

The shoe will feature ‘Meta’ materials that will manipulate fabric tissue, allowing it to bend light and modify itself according to the changes in surface or temperature. Next come the conductive threads that are woven into the sneaker membrane. These will pass electrical signals which will react to the human touch, as tiny LEDs act as a flexi-screen that adapts to the user input and finally displays the chosen Shift pattern.

Tap that app

Just like an app store, users can download ‘design packs’ that range from Superheroes and Gaming figures to Art and Racing textures. It doesn’t end there. Apart from being able to choose a particular look for your shoe, you can even have it change patterns according to a change in movement, temperature or location. The open-source nature of the store will let anyone easily design, develop and upload their own packs, which can be later  downloaded by any eager Shift Sneaker wearer.

To top that, you can download add-ons like the ‘Selfie Pack’, which lets you snap a selfie and your sneaker will instantly generate a design that goes with your outfit. Running, Cycling, Fashion are the other packs that you could indulge in. And then there’s the ‘Connection Pack’, allowing couples to sync their smart-surface with one another and blend designs. The future is certainly here, and it wants you to shift!