It looks so far like on February 20 the Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphone, alongside the Samsung Galaxy X folding phone and (maybe) the Samsung Galaxy Watch Sport will all be partying together at Samsung’s Unpacked events in London and San Francisco.
However, that might not be the end of the matter. There could be Bixby 2.0 – that would be exciting. Or there could be… Samsung Galaxy Sneakers. Smart running shoes embedded with sensors and transmitters, a bit like Puma’s RS-Computer shoes, but less deliciously retro.
Read more: Samsung Galaxy S10 review (early verdict): return of the king
- Nike has some actual smart shoes:
You may recall Samsung already developed the SmartSuit for the Dutch team at the 2018 Winter Olympics, getting a foot in the door of the booming, non-wrist-based fitness wearables market. This suggests that the sneakers might be called SmartShoes or, if aimed more at a consumer audience, perhaps Samsung Galaxy SmartShoes.
We’re already seeing an increasing number of gizmos in this area, including Stryd and Lumo, which attach to your body or shoes or, in the case of Arion Insoles, go inside your shoes. They then use an array of sensors to monitor your running style, speed, power and more.
Recently, however, LetsGoDigital spied a patent for not one but two Samsung Galaxy smart shoes: Model A and Model B. Those are working names, we suspect.
As you can see, Model A is made of a Nike Flyknit-style fabric and seems to feature some kind of sensor array that ‘plugs in’ to the loop you use to pull the shoes on, then sits at the heel.
That strikes us as a rather odd idea, so perhaps Model B is a more likely vision of what the Galaxy Shoes will look like. It’s also weirdly similar to the aforementioned Puma RS-Computer, which originally came out in the 1980s…
Either way, the approach Samsung is taking seems to be to make the shoes’ brain removable – so it can be moved to a new pair of Samsung Galaxy Sneakers when the current pair wears out.
If, like the Olympic Smart Suit, this is something aimed at pro athletes, the brain – in conjunction with sensors and electronics woven into the fabric and sole of the shoes – will likely track more technical running stats such as cadence, impact force and vertical oscillation, as well as the usual things like distance and speed.
If they’re aimed primarily at Samsung’s usual consumer mass-market we’d expect only the simpler data to be collected – speed, average speed, distance, steps taken and so on.
Perhaps there might be GPS as well, and your shoes will vibrate to tell you to turn left or right, as you walk or jog along a new route. That’s the great thing about tech that hasn’t come out yet; you can conjecture all day, and nobody can prove you’re wrong.
Perhaps the two models will feature different levels of tech integration – the Model A has more of a pure, minimalist running shoe look, while Model B has more fashion elements.
It is likely the shoes will work with Samsung’s Galaxy Watch for easy viewing of rich, running- and fitness-related data on the go.
Samsung did not, as far as we could see, have any smart shoes at CES 2019, but they could still make an appearance on February 20, or the following week at Europe’s top mobile tech show, MWC in beautiful Barcelona.