The MP3 sports shoe to grow into full body network
April 10, 2006 “Like many great ideas, this one grew out of my frustration with existing products on the market,” says LL International’s President and CEO Lavetta Willis. “I love to work out to music but also wanted to be hands free and wireless. When hiking or running, I want to reach for a water or cell phone without the complications of an mp3 player strapped to my body, never mind the wires always getting in the way.” The initial application under the Code M System product umbrella is a shoe that delivers music to a wireless headset. The delivery system consists of two key components seamlessly built into Dada shoes, offering easy access to your music with no wires and no digital music device to carry on your person. Willis adds, “Hands free working out! Hands free living!”
In this first application, the ‘Code M’ system is integrated into the shoe’s heel and tongue. Its memory gives the device the ability to hold up to 100 songs with a six-hour battery life – 256 kb. The suggested retail for Dada’s basketball line employing the ‘Code M’ system will be US$199.99.
A USB port on the lateral side of the shoe allows downloading of music and re-charging of the battery. Another important element in the system is the wireless headset, which picks up music from the shoes as far away as 30 feet. Consumers will thus be able to hear their musical choices while wearing their shoes as well as after they remove them so long as they stay within a 30-foot radius of their shoes.
According to Willis, the development of the Code M System will continue waay past the MP3 player, evolving eventually into a wholistic full body system. “I love to work out to music. But, I also want to be able to track my heart rate, my pace, miles run, etc. When I’m hiking, I want to be able to find my way, know the altitude and time. When I’m most busy, I frequently need instant access to my phone even when working out. Wouldn’t it be great to have one device to do it all? Simple concept, but not so simple feat.
“Currently, no one item on the market can do it all. There are other complications: With iPods and MP3 players, you have the musical device, the device carrier, or even worse, the device in your hand. You have the headset, the wires – and that’s just to hear your favorite tunes. If you want more information, you may need a separate heart rate monitor around your chest and a readout watch on your wrist. Then, if you’re outside trail running, for example, you might need another wrist device for pace and altitude, a GPS, a cell phone, on and on. But, with Code M, you’ll eventually be able to consolidate all of these devices. As a music delivery system in its present form, you have a wireless headset, and an electronic device integrated into your shoes. Hands free working out, hands free living with access to music and, later, to all types of data.”
“For those who want to share their music at the beach, on the court, in the park, on the front porch, we will have court shoes, skate shoes and basketball shoes which house speakers in both shoes that operate wirelessly with one another. You’ll be able to play your music out loud. No need for a docking station or an outlet if you’re wearing your Code M’s. You’ll have the option: To share or not to share your music,” Willis added.
Next application? Choose your own according to Willis. While she won’t be content until large numbers of consumers benefit from the musical capabilities of the Code M system, Willis has already begun to explore future applications. “After we successfully introduce our music platform, the possibilities are almost unlimited. Our ‘get-fit’ program will give you access to workout-related data, possibly delivered by your own personal trainer’s voice. Our ‘get-smart’ program will allow you to forward your cell phone to your headset. In the future, GPS devices, navigational systems, and the incorporation of an LED display will give us the ability to stream video and enter the ‘game’ market. “