Forget that trip to the shoe store. Why not just have your computer make your footwear for you?
That's the basic idea behind Finnish shoe designer Janne Kyttanen's latest project. He's released a collection of shoes that can be assembled by a 3D printer, Mashable reports. Customers can download the blueprints for Kyttanen's designs then make them on their own 3D printer, a fairly new technology that can create 3-dimensional objects from specified materials based off of digital models.
Of course, 3D printing remains a relatively rare technology, with home models retailing over $1,000, so using a 3D printing service like Cubify might be a better option, according to Mashable. Or check out one particular UPS in San Diego that began offering 3D printing services around a month ago to help you render one of Kyttanen's designs.
The collection of wedge heels –- which includes four models -– is on display on Kyttanen’s Cubify profile. Here's one of them:
Many expect 3D printing to become increasingly popular since the technology offers small businesses and designers like Kytannan a number of advantages. Instead of entering full-scale production, which is often costly, businesses can now test, develop and distribute products on a much smaller scale, Business News Daily reports.
Indeed, Kyttanen isn’t the only fashion innovator attempting to leverage 3D printing technology. Protos Eyewear has launched a crowd-funding effort to bring 3-D printed eye glasses to customers, according to Venture Beat. Meanwhile, 3-D printing technology can also be applied to a number of products, such as bionic ears or even guns.
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Google Project Glass
Google's Android operating system allows user to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/04/project-glass-google_n_1403174.html" target="_hplink">interact with app icons</a> through the frameless, glassless interface, effectively augmenting reality.
WiMM Lab's One gives users access to several smart phone apps on their wrist with speciality <a href="http://mashable.com/2012/01/13/wimm-one-android-watch/#43347WiMM-One-Charging-View" target="_hplink">Android-powered smart watches</a>.
From the University of Arkansas, this e-bra <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/e-bra-tracks-health-stats-sends-smartphone-replace-conventional-blood-pressure-monitors-article-1.1076442" target="_hplink">tracks your health stats</a>, such as your heart rate, and sends them to your smart phone for tracking and number crunching.
Digital Ticket Wristband For Concerts
MissionTix recently introduced a <a href="http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-05-02/business/bal-wristband-tickets-by-missiontix-20120502_1_wristband-new-tickets-concert-goers" target="_hplink">reusable digital wristband</a> concert-goers can wear so they don't lose track of their ticket during the show.
Vuzix Smart Glasses
The functional prototype seen in the video was originally developed for the military. Wearers view a <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/12/vuzix-augmented-reality-smart-glasses-prototype-hands-on-video/" target="_hplink">1.4mm holographic picture</a> through a special lens, which is attached to the powerhouse of the gadget -- a proprietary display driver.
The wristband monitors your activity throughout the day and <a href="http://www.zdnet.com/blog/apple/nike-fuelband-the-wearable-fitness-computer/12813" target="_hplink">calculates your your "NikeFuel" score</a>, based on your rate of motion and oxygen consumption, along with calories burned and number of steps taken.
Dancepants Kinetic Music Player
These speciality pants require you to keep running in order to <a href="http://www.ecouterre.com/power-your-music-player-with-your-running-pants/" target="_hplink">keep the music pumping</a>. (Photo via Designboom.com, designers: Inesa Malafej, Inesa Malafej and Arunas Sukarevicius)