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These Concept Shoes Can Put a Kick In Your Gaming

Forget about joysticks, d-pads and whatever other gaming controller you want to talk about. The way some engineers at Lenovo see it, the best input device for games may be attached to your feet.

At Lenovo Tech World, the hardware maker's concepts showcase included a look at the Smart Lifestyle F2 Smart Shoes, a pair of sensor-infused sneakers that will put a new spring into your gaming step. Don't expect to be lacing up these kicks any time soon, even if Lenovo CEO Yuanqing Yang did hand off a pair to Intel's Brian Krzanich during the Tech World Keynote today (June 9). The engineer who showed the shoes off to me doesn't expect they'll be ready for the public until the end of the year.

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A demo showcasing the power of the F2s featured an endless runner game on a smartphone in which you had to pick up coins while dodging assorted obstacles like bales of hay. Running in place started the on-screen avatar moving while shifting left or right made him follow suit on screen. Dragging your feet made your character slide while your own jumps sent him skyward to avoid those hay bales.

It's not all fun and games with the F2s, which light up as you're running with a set of LEDs. The shoes can also track fitness metrics such as the steps you take and your activity level.

The shoes have enough battery power to run for a week. When it's time for a charge, just place them on a charging pad for 2 hours, and you'll be back on the move in no time.

The demo pairs came in a garish red and a more traditional white. Michael Jordan and Chuck Taylor need not fear the end to their sneaker dominance, but Lenovo's demo shows that there's a lot more to footwear than meets the eye.