This New Sneaker Senses Sonic Vibrations Via Bluetooth

DropLabs
Sonia Rickett/Flatland

DropLabs

In 2015, Susan Paley met musician/inventor Brock Seiler at Montana Studios in New York. Seven years prior, Seiler had discovered a spot on the studio’s floor through which he could feel the bass at its strongest, which inspired him to combine audio technology and footwear for the first time. Paley herself was eager to expand upon the concept of feeling music from the ground up, and quickly gathered a team of engineers to help create her new tech company, DropLabs (Seiler soon stepped away from the company to continue developing new technologies).   

Today, Nov. 13, DropLabs is releasing its first product: the EP 01, a sneaker that delivers an immersive audio-sensory experience to its wearers.    

The trademarked DropLabs Technology converts audio via Bluetooth input into vibrations that stimulate nerve receptors in the feet -- and sync up with whatever audio is playing through headphones, from a song to a movie to a video game.    

As with any product launch, Paley -- who has over 20 years of experience in consumer technology, with her most notable position being CEO of Beats by Dre through 2012 -- is anxious to see who the early adopters of this new technology are.   

She sees this technology as a soon-to-be essential for gamers, as it gives a competitive advantage by allowing users to be more fully immersed -- and therefore able to anticipate their opponents moves earlier on -- but also believes this new tech will largely benefit the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.    

Antoine Hunter, deaf dancer/director/choreographer and member of DropLabs’ Advisory Board, says in the company’s press release that for the first time, he’s no longer tied to his speakers: “The EP 01 has given me the power to go anywhere and feel the beat.”    

Says Paley: “We’ve pioneered a brand new category for consumer tech -- the EP 01 is the first step on our path to understanding the widespread applications for DropLabs Technology, from entertainment to wellness and beyond.”  

You can pre-order the EP 01 here.

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