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"No Place Like Home" GPS shoes inspired by The Wizard of Oz

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September 17, 2012

Uploading of a home destination can be achieved with the use of custom-made mapping softwa...

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

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British designer Dominic Wilcox has created a pair of prototype shoes which offer to guide the wearer home with built-in GPS navigation. The inspiration for the clever footwear derives from The Wizard of Oz character Dorothy’s red shoes, which famously transported her home with a click of her heels. Naturally, the GPS system within Wilcox’s shoes is also activated by clicking the heels together.

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

The red tag visible on the left shoe contains the GPS antenna, pointing upwards
The red tag visible on the left shoe contains the GPS antenna, pointing upwards

A GPS unit contained within the heel of the left shoe communicates wirelessly with the right shoe and provides data to the integrated LED lights – which display both the correct direction home, and how much of the journey still remains.

A new home destination can be added via USB connection to a computer running purpose-made mapping software, while a magnet in the right shoe and a sensor in the left detect when the heels are clicked together. The internal hardware is controlled by dual Arduino micro-controllers, and power is provided by a cellphone-like battery pack.

The short film below explains the concept behind the No Place Like Home shoes in further detail.

Source: Dominic Wilcox via, Mashable

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road.

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2 Comments

Now drunks can find their way home from the pub.

TLW
17th September, 2012 @ 12:44 pm PDT

Good idea, but don't try to get through airport security while wearing them. In the X-ray they will look like electronics for a bomb.

MBadgero
18th September, 2012 @ 05:33 am PDT
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