Dorothy found out the hard way that she could have gotten home with just a click of her heels. Maker Dominic Wilcox created a pair of shoes that does the same thing, only with technology instead of movie magic.
Wilcox was commissioned by the Global Footprint project of Northamptonshire, England, to create a pair of shoes for the town, famous for shoemaking. The results are handmade leather Oxfords, complete with LED GPS navigation.
It seems like only last week we were telling you about another Wizard-of-Oz-inspired way to get home, Ruby and its accompanying app, Dorothy. While Ruby and Dorothy are there to call you an Uber with a click of the heels, Wilcox’s shoes take a slightly different approach in getting you back to Kansas. They give you visual cues to guide you to your next destination.
The two shoes communicate with one another. One shoe shows the direction you should go by lighting up one bulb in a circle of LEDs. The other shoe shows you the distance you should go in that direction. The heel of the shoe is where the GPS device lives, and it communicates to satellites via an antennae in a red tab on the back of the hand-stitched shoe.
Wilcox dubbed his invention “No Place Like Home” for more than just the fun of it. Just like Dorothy, to get started on your journey, you click together your heels. When you tap the heels together, a switch triggers to GPS to start up. You tell your shoes where you’re going by plugging them into your computer via USB and entering in your destination before you head out.
While we would be totally down with these shoes being covered in rubies, the red accents are a lovely tribute to the maker’s inspiration. We’d love to see this project as a Kickstarter so we could get our hands on a pair, maybe with the addition of a Bluetooth connectivity rather than a USB cord… and definitely an app.
Would you use these smart shoes? Let us know in the comments!