May 31, 2012 at 4:56 PM ET
If you’ve got a shoe fetish, a spare $1,800 and don’t mind skin from genetically engineered stingrays on your feet, then head on over to Rayfish.com and order yourself a truly unique pair of shoes.
Visitors to the company’s website can mix and match patterns from the fish and the company will select coloration and patterning genes to grow you a transgenic stingray with your custom design.
“As the ray grows and matures, it expresses the predetermined patterns on its skin,” the company explains on its website.
The fish grow in an aquaculture facility. Once harvested, workers at a factory in Chon Buri, Thailand, stitch together your shoes, including thick laces and sturdy soles.
“With their unparalleled degree of customization — no two pairs are alike, even at a genetic level — these shoes should appeal to a diverse group of sneaker lovers,” RayFish.com explains in a press release.
The company’s CEO, Raymond Ong, calls the shoes the “world’s first bio-customized sneakers.
General production is slated to begin in late 2012, with shoes costing approximately $1,800, depending on shoe size and the complexity of the design.
For those who can’t wait, the company is hosting a design contest to win a free pair and is also accepting a limited number of orders, presumably closer to the current production cost of between $14,800 and $16,200.
While these shoes could appeal to shoe lovers, if we get comfortable designing our clothes with transgenic stingrays, does that bring us closer to designing our own babies?
— Via Fast Company
John Roach is a contributing writer for msnbc.com. To learn more about him, check out his website and follow him on Twitter. For more of our Future of Technology series, watch the featured video below.