The human factor is crucial, and therefore I have to build my product around the athletes I want to target. My target groups are mainly Top-runners and Omni-athletes. Why? Simply because these two customers have a shared passion for the sport as the driving force behind their purchasing decisions, with the difference that the Top-runners focus more on themselves as the Omni-athletes try to outperform in a competition. The demographics show that together they make up about 50% of all sneaker consumers, which is essential for the development of my concept.
The app is a gateway between the digital and the analogue world. IT has three main functions: tracking the running technique, connecting to a community, and improving the performance of the athletes through the integrated AR features.
The product is deliberately designed more conservatively in order to achieve the highest possible acceptance among the target group, which for me plays a key role in the functioning of my sustainability concept.
The tech behind tracking the running technique looks like this. All smart components are located in the sole of the shoe and consist of several layers of fabrics made of so-called smart fibres. One layer must consist of pressure-sensitive fabric, such as that produced by the company EoanTex. This layer can determine where pressure is applied to the insoles, so that it is possible to understand the user's walking movement exactly. With the help of the app, it is possible to find out where possible errors in the user's technique lie about the way he or she walks in the shoe. However, this smart fibre must be supplied with electricity, for which purpose the second layer of the smart fibre is used. This consists of electroactive polymers or EAPs for short.
As a designer, I strive to create the best possible product, which can be challenging to achieve due to the artificial obsolescence on which our economic system is based. But it is precisely this obsolescence, the development of products with guaranteed death at a particular time, that is the driving force behind economic growth, which makes it quite difficult to get rid of. So my approach is to integrate digital services into an analogue product to maintain a source of income and still be able to produce less and at the local level. I see a great opportunity in the local market economy and consumer education is an urgently needed step to reduce the number of goods produced, but also to make transparent where things come from and where they go after disposal. Products do not magically appear and disappear, they are made, and this process, in my opinion, must be seen as the genuine act that it is.