News Item

'No Place Like Home' shoes

A British designer has created a pair of shoes which can guide the wearer home with built-in GPS navigation.

Designer Dominic Wilcox has created the shoes - inspired by The Wizard of Oz character Dorothy’s red shoes, which transported her home with a click of her heels. Naturally, the GPS system within the shoes is also activated by clicking the heels together.

Uploading of a 'home' destination can be achieved with custom-made mapping software, via USB cable.

A GPS unit contained within the heel of the left shoe communicates wirelessly (just as well . .) with the right shoe and provides data to integrated LED lights - which display the direction home on the right shoe and how much of the journey still remains on the left.

A magnet and sensor detect when the heels are clicked together. The hardware is controlled by dual Arduino micro-controllers, with power provided by a cellphone-like battery pack. A red tag on the left shoe heel contains the GPS antenna. The LEDs are set in the toecaps.

The No Place Like Home shoes were commissioned by the Global Footprint project in Northamptonshire, which seeks to highlight the county's rich history of shoe making. To construct the shoes, Dominic Wilcox teamed up with interactive arts and technology expert Becky Stewart and Northamptonshire shoe-maker Stamp Shoes.

A video of the concept can be found at the gizmag link below.

  • 17 September 2012
  • NOF

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