Another example of the non-existent boundaries of wearable technology are the Orphe smartshoes for dancers and performers. Orphe smartshoes are the brain child of a Japanese startup called No New Folk Studio Inc (NNF). Just 5 days into their crowdfunding campaign on indiegogo, Orphe have raised almost $11,000.

Orphe uses motion sensors and LEDs that turn your feet into a customizable psychedelic glow show! But, that’s not all because these smartshoes also function as musical instrument and audio-visual controllers. Inside the sole of each shoe are around 100 controllable colour LEDs, advanced motion sensors, and a wireless module.

The Orphe smartshoes will enable wearers to combine their dance moves with visuals and audio, resulting in some interesting 21st century expression! The makers of Orphe are hoping to grow a community of users with their system that allows artists to share online what they create with Orphe’s applications and hardware.


The company behind Orphe are optimistic that their creation can mold a new culture of visual and audio expression, and it doesn’t stop there! According to NNF “The 9-axis sensors embedded in each sole pick up the movements of each shoe in real-time. This data can then be used to wirelessly control various external devices, allowing the shoes to function as musical instruments, video game controllers, foot switches, etc.”

The LEDs enable wearers to map interactions between motion, sound and light. They can be controlled either from the movement of the shoes which sync to the companion app via Bluetooth, or the shoes can be programmed to react to the users movement from within the app.

So far the smartshoes only come in black or white which makes the LEDs look good in any colour. Their exterior design is minimal as it’s the light shows that are supposed to catch the eye.


Each shoe contains a unified circuit board with an ARM Cortex-M3 microprocessor, invensense mpu9150 motion-tracking device, wireless Bluetooth LE module and a charging circuit.

Orphe currently runs with iOS, if funding is successful an Android version will be made available. NNF also intend to release an SDK so developers can get involved and create their own apps.

The first batch of Orphe smart shoes should be shipping in December 2015, probably for around $330 (£225).

Head over to indiegogo and grab yourself a pair for an early bird discount!