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This story was originally published on CNN Travel .
In my family, beeping is a common routine for everything.
More specifically, button beeping — when car doors lock, lights turn on, appliances become on or off — is a common ritual during family celebrations that involve a lot of tapping and scratching.
Often, my siblings and I pull out our iPhones to make sure we’re typing the correct numbers for every word being said.
All this playing with buttons comes as the perfect foil to the hour long deep dives into NASA, Japanese classic film, classic literature and more.
But the game of button tapping, beeping and crunching mechanical products is thankfully waning as technology evolves.
First it was TVs with technical cables, then it was smartwatches with all-day battery life and, of course, always in people’s pockets: smart TVs and smartphones.
The mistergator is one of the first ever “smart” shoes. Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
The latest in button-shaking is a pair of smart shoes from Finnish startup Finnish Panglik that connect to a smartphone, not only to control music, but also to send and receive messages through your voice, count calories and so on.
My family’s longstanding tradition for button-bumping came to an end when I made the (safe) decision to wait for later in life and purchase a smartwatch.
But soon, I found the updates, features and functions for my phone to be overwhelming, so instead, I proudly thought of the iJustine Apple Watch .
The simple design and features provided a clear return on investment when it came to automating household activities, but in the meantime, the iJustine deal fell through.
All I wanted at that point was just a pair of smart sneakers from a mobile startup.
It should’ve been that simple.
Enlarge Image The Misterspaniel
Now, there are new strappy shoes called The Misterspaniel for people who want to use their phone.
Their principle is simple. They pair Bluetooth and your phone or watch, so your shoes can do the actual clicking and beeping, as a simple headphone.
The only catch is that each pair of shoes has to be specifically tagged, including the phone, device and beep button.
That’s right, each pair of kicks has to be identifiable.
Now, to be clear, when an iJustine shoe doesn’t fit properly, the company says its “made to custom fit” — usually, a leather box and two matches, but not mandatory.
In other words, it still requires someone to be a little bit uncomfortable while they buy it.
And make no mistake, it feels like you have to be willing to use those sets of headphones and earbuds and ear buds because, again, they’re technically disabled.
“You would definitely notice the buttons or gadgets. A handful. That beep button is easily accessible on the outside of your shoe, and like the iTestine, the more precise your purchase is, the more accurate the ordering is,” explains Jukka Villalta, co-founder of The Misterspaniel.
“We tried to ship a sweater to our non-regular-sized and oversized customer. We couldn’t fit anything except a plain sweater or a football player in a plain shirt.”
His company only ships to U.S. customers and only through USPS. The shoes can be delivered in three to four weeks, and the plan is to do the rest in total under the three-to-four-week range.
Last fall, The Misterspaniel raised $500,000 in seed funding. If that doesn’t prove to be enough, the brand started selling $200 shirts and $100 fleeces last month.