Asics debuts smart running shoe prototype – with the real thing launching later this year

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Asics looks to be embracing the future of running shoes, debuting a smart prototype at CES 2020 ahead of a full release later this year.

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The announcement comes as part of Asics first big tech presence at the Las Vegas show, with the company taking the projects it’s been working on in the lab and putting them on stage.

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It showcased energy-saving running shoes (they don’t save you energy when running, unfortunately – they’re just more efficient to produce), but the most intriguing is the as-yet-unnamed smart running shoes prototype.

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In collaboration with Japanese startup No New Folk Studio – a company that specializes in sensor technology – the shoes will feature multi-dimensional sensors around the sole that log the wearer’s movements.

Combined with the research of those at Asics’ Institute of Sport Science, and the company will be able to offer both data tracking and real-time analysis to help runners. Instead of receiving feedback from a wearable, then, the Asics smart shoes will be able to deliver metrics on kick strength, stability and more.

Asics debuts smart running shoe prototype - with the real thing launching later this year

However, since this is just a prototype, there’s still a lot we don’t know. The pair featuring on the stand at CES are actually Asics’ Evorid running shoes, which have been kitted out with No New Folk’s Orphe Track sensor.

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So, just now, we don’t have any idea what they will look like. The fact the technology has been customized to fit into a protoype of a regular running shoe, though, does suggest the form may not differ too greatly from what we’re used to seeing from Asics.

We’ve seen our fair share of smart running shoes over the years, but this spells arguably the most interesting development yet for the space, besides Under Armour’s efforts.

And, even better, we won’t have to wait long to see the real thing. Asics indicates more details on launch specifics will be following soon, with the launch coming later in 2020.

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