No one has any trouble tracking their steps today. But how can you make sure people know you’re doing it? Ostentatiously checking your phone or watch every five minutes is a pain. What if I told you there was a shoe with a step-tracking computer sticking out of it where everyone could see? It’s a Puma. It was born in 1986, and will be reborn in 2018 — briefly.
The RS Computer was among the early stumbling steps of the personal computer era, when everyone thought that, since people were buying Amigas and Macs, they’d probably buy computer shoes as well. It didn’t really pan out, needless to say.
But what was deeply uncool in 1986 is, 30-some years later, strangely compelling. And it helps that you don’t have to attach it to a command line interface with a special 16-pin cable every time you want to check your steps.
Yes, the reissued RS Computer (RS stands for “running system,” not “robo-shoe”) is coming out the day after tomorrow at select retailers and in extremely limited quantity. The electronics have been updated not to be smaller (you could hide them away completely, after all) but simply to work with modern devices. That’s right — no need to break out your Apple IIe or C64.
Instead of that cable you have Bluetooth, and inside the unit is an accelerometer that should more accurately measure steps and distance. It stores up to 30 days of data and you can recharge the shoe via micro USB.
I love that the giant computer unit literally has screws on it, and the red and black buttons — resembling battery poles — probably serve no purpose but were left on anyway. This is definitely a shoe that people will pay attention to. Just try not to overdo the look with a Casio calculator watch and Zack Morris phone. Know your limitations.
The 86 pairs of RS Computers will be available day after tomorrow (the 13th) at Puma stores in London, Berlin (I just left!) and Tokyo, as well as a few other retailers, including Kith. You should probably call your local stockist now and ask.