For any self-professed shoe fanatic, the launch of a new, innovative shoe is an exciting prospect. But a shoe launch which doubles as an innovative and original gadget launch could really whip up a frenzy of interest. English based designer Dominic Wilcox has designed a shoe like no other, intriguing shoe lovers and gadgets lovers alike.  The shoes designs have since been taken on by Northampton based shoe maker Nicholas Cooper of Stamp Shoes. The shoe has been developed further since is initial design and features a GPS system that utilises

Inspiration           

Inspired by Dorothy’s shoes in The Wizard of OZ, she could click her heels and be transported back home. The designer liked to idea of being able to click your heels and be taken anywhere, and this is exactly what the shoes do (lets hope it isn’t to far away, Kansas to Oz would be quite some walk).

How do they work?

Within the heel of the shoe is a GPS system, it features an antenna, housed in the back of the shoe, which allows the wearers movements to be tracked, (practical if not the most fashionable look). The user simply uses the custom made mapping software to upload their chosen route to the shoe, then once the heel is clicked the GPS is activated and the user can start their journey. The flashing LED lights direct the wearer to their chosen destination. The shoes also feature a “Progress Bar” which shows how far away from their destination the wearer is.

Nicholas Cooper gets to work on making the shoe design and integrating the lights at the front to the GPS at the back.

Where Can I See One?

The prototype shoe was commissioned for and displayed as part of the Northamptonshire Global Footprint Festival.  It was then displayed in London. It created such a stir that it has gone on display in New York in an event showing all the latest gadget technology.

For those of us severely lacking in any sense of direction these shoes seem like the perfect product, but unfortunately they are only a prototype. Showing the possibilities of modern technology including LED lights and the traditional craftsmanship of good shoe making. It leads to thinking what else could features this sort of technology, could we have GPS jewelry with rings on each finger showing the direction for travel? Using this technology, nearly any type of clothing or accessories could be used. For now I guess we will have to stick with online map software and good old sign reading to get us around.

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