Cat in Space, Tap and Nike on the run…

Way before the ‘So You Can Dance’ and ‘Dancing With the Stars’ odd-ball-pseudo-reality-70’s flashback-variety shows… Gregory Hines put out a film called “Tap” where he wired up tap shoes to midi/synths.

I’m not sure if these were ever functional or if they were part of a hollywood effect… But this concept isn’t new… however the methods of interactivity and sound effects available have improved on the initial idea.

Sound Shoes

Tina Jespersen from Cat In Orbit has one of her projects involving shoes fitted with pressure sensors and wired into Max PSP. Walking around in the shoes creates audio effects like walking in gravel, leaning forward on your toes triggers a mouse-click that swaps out the sound effect and then you’re walking in puddles of water. Although these are wired, this could easily be updated with Flash 8, MakingThings/Teleo, mp3 audio recorder and a few force sensors or bend sensors.

View the Flash video here…

Although I can see sound effects shoes like this paired (no pun intended) with kids shoes that have blinking lights activated as they step, jump or run around in them… This input method not only could be used with gee-wiz audio effects but could integrate with data driven, interactive applications similar to Apple/Nike Sync. One could create a health/phys ed game for kids to increase movement and exercise – jumping, stomping and shaking… would give a whole new meaning to hoky-poky.

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