Global sports brand PUMA was the first to bring sophisticated electronic hardware and software into the sports experience over 30 years ago with the RS-Computer shoe. A running sneaker that originated in 1986 and considered extremely advanced for its time, it revolutionized the way runners trained. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Wearable Technology 2018-2028.
The computer on the heel of the RS (Running System) translated data and gave runners the ability to compare past runs with future goals, learning and understanding how to become faster, more efficient, and competitive. Today, PUMA upgrades with the RS-Computer Shoe with sophisticated tech features that provide real-time data while retaining the OG design.
The original RS-Computer running shoe had a custom-designed computer chip built into the heel that automatically recorded the time, distance and calories expended and could communicate the results once connected to any Apple IIE, Commodore 64 using a 16-pin cord. Material-wise, the OG RS-Computer is decked in a textile and leather upper, padded collar, Multiplex Four midsole technology, a rubber outsole and a unique, extended TPU heel that housed the computer chip.
The 2018 iteration has new technology but replicates the original experience. A cable is no longer used to connect to a computer but instead is used to charge the shoe via a USB connector. It is fitted with Bluetooth technology to connect to an Android or iOS smartphone and a dedicated RS-Computer Shoe app (available on the App Store and Google Play) to manage and process all the information. The app interface uses 8-bit graphics seen on original computer screens and inside the app is an 8-bit game.
The new RS-Computer retains the original Lunar Rock - Limestone - Peacoat colorway. Only 86 pairs will be available globally, signifying the year it first originated. Each pair has a number (from 1 to 86) that appears on a woven label inside the tongue.
- Sensors: Each shoe is equipped with a miniature 3-axis accelerometer, which is used to measure the number of steps taken, distance traveled and calories burned.
- Wireless Technology: The RS Computer Shoe has a Bluetooth 4.0 radio transceiver and can be connected to an Android or iOS mobile phone. Once the Bluetooth is turned on, the shoe records and delivers data to the RS Computer Shoe app.
- Memory: The shoe can record for 30 days worth of data. Every new month is a fresh start. Throughout the month the runner can access all the stored data in a Monthly Statistics tab.
- Keys and LED Light Indicators: There are two keys, Key 1 (Red/Red LED) and Key 2 (Black/Green LED). KEY 1 is used to show daily step target status, which can be set in the RS Computer App while KEY 2 shows battery status.
- Rechargeable Battery: The RS Computer Shoe has an on-board rechargeable lithium-polymer battery. The battery can be recharged using the USB cable provided with the shoes.
Source and top image: PUMA