Vacuum-nozzle "suction mat" cleans your shoes as you wipe them

In this trade-show-floor video, a Japanese inventor shows off his ~$6,000 "suction mat," uses a sensor-triggered grid of vacuum nozzles to suck the grime off your shoes before you come through the door. It reminds me of the air-showers in the airlocks leading into chip-fab cleanrooms, and appeals to my inner compulsive neat-freak. Combine this with a couple autonomous vacuum bots to follow you around and suck up any skin-cells you shed while you're hanging around, and it'll be like you were never there.

Suction Mat will keep the floor amazingly tidy



  1. I’d only be really impressed if this had something that came up and cleaned your entire shoe, not just the soles. Although I’d also love to try the sensation of walking on it barefoot…

  2. I get the idea, but frankly it looks rather weak in its design…

    90% of the time when I track stuff in on my shoes it is not a little loose dirt that just falls away.  Most of the time it is mud, caked on dirt, grass, and little bits of rock and acorns.  I like the idea of the self cleaning suction action, but there is little there that is actually going to clean the shoe itself.  At least throw in some stiff bristles.

  3. Looks like its good at removing the dirt from the mat itself, not so sure how it performs on removing the dirt from the shoe.

    Also I’m not sure if this was translated poorly, but if not then this chap makes some interesting assertions, and self-contradictins.

  4. There was a scene in the movie Mr. Baseball that confused me at first as a kid. Tom Selleck is a washed-up baseball player who gets hired to play in Japan. He doesn’t understand that it’s impolite to leave your shoes on in when entering someone’s house. What confused me is that everyone takes their shoes off here (Ontario). Then I realized that no one in Hollywood productions takes their shoes off. Everyone just clomps around with mud and snow and ice dropping off all over their houses.

    1.  I think people from areas that experience snowy winters tend to take their shoes off, not just Canadians :)

      1. No, not really.  Plenty of snowy weather in Germany, but taking your shoes off is rather rare and even among those who practise it, only expected from close friends and family.   

        Though it is getting common enough – imported by Turkish immigrants, anime lovers and other cultural ambassadors – that some visitors actually ask.  

    2. Most Americans view taking shoes off as something akin to walking around in your underwear. Smelly feet and smelly socks revealed to the world? No thanks. Plus, you have to figure that the soles of shoes are probably pretty clean, considering all the friction they encounter.

  5. I want to see how my animals react to this. It’d scare the dogs, and 2 of the cats, and the third would lie on it and enjoy a massage (and have bald polka dots!) 

  6. The image on the embedded YouTube before clicking “Play” caught my eye, it looks like a moonwalking foot, and the mat looks like something Michael Jackson would have put in every room in Neverland.

  7. This is a chindogu:

    The book “The Art of Chindogu” has 10 tenets of chindogu, and this fails #5 “the item must not be for sale”, but I’ve always thought that stipulation was a bit much. I like the wiki article’s much looser 3 tenets:

    “(a) it has to be possible to make (i.e., it has to actually exist), in spite of its absurdity; (b) it has to remain in the public domain (i.e., it cannot be given a patent); and (c) it must not be exclusively a vehicle for humor, or the warped satirical worldview of the inventor. There is frequently humor in a chindōgu, of course, but this should properly be regarded as incidental, rather than as an end unto itself.”

  8. Call me skeptical, but that thing looks like it would clog in no time flat if you walked on it with muddy shoes.

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