Can you keep tabs on your kids without cramping their style? Such a notion may seem contradictory, but A&L Technology is aiming to help parents do just that with its flashy new GPS kicks.
The burgeoning Beijing startup has branded its “Budiu smart shoes” as the first of their kind, although a recent Tech In Asia article points out that “child tracking shoes have been around for years,” as far back as 2007 in fact, according to a post on Gizmodo (and they haven’t exactly set the world on fire since then).
Nevertheless, A&L’s take on the product may be the snazziest and most successful yet, seeing as the company claims that 10,000 pairs of the first-gen Budiu line have already been sold, and 20,000 preorders have been racked up for the second-gen line.
Its designs include tie die, lime green with intergalactic creatures, and neon zebra style patterns. This colourful aesthetic will hopefully keep children from bitterly dismissing the shoes as glorified house arrest ankle monitors.
Those youngsters would likely be even more peeved to learn that their Budiu shoes can be tracked with a smartphone app, and that parents can even set up virtual perimeters and an alarm that will notify them if their child steps out of those bounds.
Unfortunately there has yet to be an app that can outline the psychological boundaries crossed by such overprotective, tech-enabled parents.
And one wonders: in a place like Beijng where taking off ones’ shoes is de rigueur in virtually all homes and GPS coverage gaps are still normal througout the city — is the idea of tracking a child by their shoes really practical?