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Onitsuka Tiger
Onitsuka Tiger advert

So augmented reality sneakers are here

And they look really shit

Technology and trainers are, independently, both pretty good for very different reasons. Regardless of their indidivual greatness, though, the combination of the two was always destined to be just a bit shit. Of course, as we as a society move towards making everything in our lives as smart as it can be (which is not necessarily a bad thing), it was only natural that fashion would be next. We just love to meddle! And would you believe it: Mashable reports that Japanese footwear company Onitsuka Tiger have teamed up with label Anrealage to produce what could be, “the first pair of augmented reality sneakers in the world”.

WHAT IS IT?

Well, it’s normal shoes, right, but then (according to Mashable) you look at them through your phone and you see the Anrealage logo pop out over your shoe (one at a time) as music by Japanese band Sakanaction plays.

HOW DOES IT WORK? 

With an app that you scan your shoes with. That takes up 300MB for a function that will at best impress one person but more likely will amuse you for five minutes. Like Pokémon Go but less nostalgic and more sad and empty.

WHAT DO THE SHOES LOOK LIKE? 

They’re black and white, have loads of holes in them and a big black bar across them... and look: I’m going to be honest with you. They look like the worst outcome if you were to cross crocs with Yeezys. They look like beach shoes, and they cost a whole lot more for the not-that-impressive novelty of making it look like there’s a logo on your shoes. Please, I beg, just buy some nice shoes that already have a logo on there if that’s what you desire.

WHO’S IT FOR?

I do not care to cast assumptions about anyone, but I cannot imagine anyone other than the worst hypebeast feeling the need to buy this. The shoes are ugly. The AR is useless. I cannot wrap my head around anybody buying them for any reason other than so they can say that they did and to then sell on to someone even worse.

WHY? 

I am still working on this myself, please @ me if you figure it out. It seems to just be a classic example of man’s hubris and need to meddle until a good thing is bad.

DOES IT WORK? 

And that is the worst part! Not only is it essentially useless and ugly, according to Mashable, it doesn’t even perform its one function. Mashable said that the concept’s execution was “pretty underwhelming” and that the function, “only works on the left foot (did they give up halfway?) and required several tries and scans before the logo would properly pop up”.

Anrealage x Onitsuka also say in the manual that the app becomes less reactive due to natural factors, but as noted, this means that, “the more you wear it, the less likely you'll see the animation again”. This wasn’t the first time a sneaker brand experimented with AR, and it won't be the last – it was recently announced that Nike would be adding augmented reality technology to its SNKRS app for limited edition releases.