Puma’s RS Computer past is the new present

Wearable technology for athletes is becoming more prevalent. Puma’s RS-Computer editions were first released in 1986, pioneering shoes that could track bio-stats and workout metrics. Puma is re-releasing this groundbreaking sneaker.

What good is activity if it is not tracked? Why even bother with a tracking device, if it is not stylish? Wearable tech is just the most obvious vanity in the age of the Internet of Things. Everything must seemingly be connectivity enable, to something.

The Puma RS-Computer measured and tracked steps, distance, calories burned, and running time using on-board electronics. Though the technology took decades to make fashionable and accurate, as well as affordable, the German sneaker icon is re-releasing these sneakers in a very limited release.

The new version of the Puma RS-Computer will be practically identical to the original on first glance. The new Puma release will track the same activity stats as the original as well. The biggest difference is the new version will offer more accurate and precise readings than the 1980’s version of the shoes.

A modern 3-axis accelerometer will do the job of the original rudimentary chips of the classic version. The big plastic heel attachment was necessary originally, just as computers took up whole offices decades ago. What used to hold circuit boards and regular batteries is now home to a USB port and storage space to record all your information. There is also an LED light to show battery level use and shoe function.

A 16-pin serial cable was used for uploading activity information to a program running on an Apple PC or a Commodore 64. The new Puma RS-Computer shoes will utilize Bluetooth to connect the shoes to a computer, tablet, or phone, transmitting stats to an app for viewing the information.

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The newer version will find a place in the current chunky sneaker trends, and perhaps some will prefer a heel brick instead of a wrist band. However, Puma is being realistic on the functional viability of the heel unit. Only 86 pairs were released this December, and only in Puma stores in Berlin, Tokyo, and London. KITH retailers will also have a few pair, all for an undisclosed price leading up to launch.