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This past weekend at the famous South by Southwest (SXSW) conference, the smarty-pants at Google showed up with their latest prototype: a pair of talking shoes. The motion sensing, “smart shoes” have an embedded speaker on the tongue that can talk to you if they sense you are being lazy, not moving enough or encourage you when you’re moving or exercising. The shoes were designed in collaboration with Adidas and can relay the information to your smartphone. For example they can tell you how fast you are moving.

Google has given new meaning to what the tongue of a shoe is meant to do with these smart sneakers, which is to smack-talk its wearer in this case. The shoes aren’t for sale but we’re wondering just how advanced the technology could get. Hopefully for most people the shoes won’t get too “smart” and be able to detect things like foot odor. Just imagine getting shouted at by your shoes saying, “Yo bro, your feet stink!” Nevertheless, sneakers just got a whole lot smarter thanks to Google.

[Photo: Google]

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This is the question that I’ve asked myself every time I’ve checked my Gmail today. For days there’s been a cryptic blue message at the bottom of my screen, egging me on, but I just couldn’t commit. How could I? With no real indication of what I was getting myself into.

And it turns out I’m not alone. Lots of people in my Facebook feed are wondering whether they should switch too. That damn blue box is so enticing, yet terrifying at the same time.

I had basically decided to put off the switch for at least another day until I read this:

It is ok. There is a setting that makes it look closer to the old look. But I switched because soon enough they’re gonna force everyone anyway, might as well get used to it. If you don’t like it, there is a way to switch back, for now.

Well, when you put it like that, then yeah, I guess I will switch. So I switched and you know what? It wasn’t that traumatizing. It actually looks a lot like Google Docs.

So there you have it. Yes, you should switch because right now you still have a choice. Take ownership of your inbox before Google exerts even more control over you.

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