Google and the talking trainer

The technology giant's latest piece of technology takes the form of motivational footwear that talks to you as you run

We’ve all been there – that moment when your well-intentioned plans to pull on the trainers and hit the treadmill dissolve into an afternoon of reclining on the sofa in front of a good film. 


But fear not, those clever people at Google have come up with a natty solution to all our problems: a talking trainer. The shoe – which was has been debuted at the SXSW Interactive festival – represents your very own exercise coach providing motivational commentary on your daily activity. 

Adorn your feet with these smart sneakers and your moments of kicking back and relaxing are well and truly over. Instead, you will be met with exasperated remarks such as “this is super boring” mixed with a health-inducing dose of sarcasm: “if standing still was a sport, you’d be world champion,” “Are you a statue? Let’s do this already.” 

But the moment you begin pumping the pavements, the trainers switch to their store of mood-boosting jargon, including, “I love the feeling of wind through my laces” and “call 911, because you are on fire”. All these vocal pats on the back can then be posted on social network Google+ to, er, impress your friends. And if you work really hard, you might even be greeted by the self-gratifying words, “You’ve made me a very proud shoe.” N’aww. 


The technology – a collaboration between digital agency YesYesNo and Google – works by connecting an Android smartphone via Bluetooth and then using an accelerometer and a gyroscope to turn the wearer’s activity into commentary, encouraging them to be more active. Check out Google’s demonstration video below: