The world's first-ever smartshoe is called Le Chal, which means "let's go" in Hindi. Designed by Anirudh Sharma, who works at the MIT Media Lab, and Krispian Lawrence, these shoes work as haptic navigation devices that connect to your smartphone.
The basic idea is pretty simple. You simply tell your phone where to go using the app's voice recognition software, and the app uses GPS to plot the course from your current location. Once you're on your way, the shoes vibrate when it's time to turn—on the left side for a left turn and on the right for a right turn. The vibrations become more intense as you get closer to your destination.
Alex Scott, a senior editor at C&EN, notes that spider silk's impressive strength has been studied for years, and scientists have been trying to make a synthetic version of the super-strong protein in the lab.