There were plenty of wearables, smart home devices and fancy headphones on display at CES Unveiled on Jan. 4, one of the first events before CES 2015 officially kicks off on Jan. 6. With so many cool gadgets in one room, I almost didn't know where to look. But then I found them: Rollkers.
Rollkers were one of the most memorable products for me on display at CES Unveiled. Now that I've built them up so much, you must be wondering, "Why should I care so much about Rollkers?" Simply put, they're unlike anything I've ever seen before, at least outside of science fiction.
Rollkers are the world's first electronic "under shoes." What that means is they're a personal transportation device that consists of motorized wheels that attach to your soles, allowing you to walk faster, up to seven miles per hour.
"It's for everybody who [has] to walk long distance," Rollkers SAS CEO Paul Chavand told me at CES Unveiled.
Chavand said the idea for Rollkers came from travelators, or moving sidewalks, that you typically see in airports. Wearing Rollkers is kind of like constantly having a travelator at the bottom of your feet.
"It's a system you can walk onto, but [Rollkers] move," Chavand said. "You have no loss of balance. You walk, but you get speed like a travelator."
It may actually be more efficient to wear Rollkers all the time than if every surface you walked on was a travelator, something Chavand actually wished was real a thing before the idea for Rollkers came about. You can move twice as fast wearing Rollkers as you can walking on a travelator, according to Chavand. Anyone who has felt the rush of walking on a travelator as you pass by all the poor souls still walking on foot to get to their flight gate knows that wearing these babies must also give you a rush.
Now that you're dying to get your hands, er, feet on a pair of Rollkers, I've got semi-bad news for you. You can't buy Rollkers in stores just yet. The product is currently in the first-level prototype phase, and the company is currently looking for partners to license the product. We may be seeing Rollkers in the market in about a year or two, according to Chavand.
Whenever Rollkers become available, I'll definitely be ready for them.