Take Me Home, GPS Shoes

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Never get lost again with these GPS shoes.  Know of someone with the worst sense of direction? Well, there is good news for those who frequently get lost while they are out on walks around town – there is a new pair of shoes that will always be able to guide them home. Artist and designer Dominic Wilcox has created a pair of shoes with GPS technology included inside of the shoes.

At first glance, these unique shoes look like a regular pair of grey leather shoes with tiny, barely noticeable glowing lights on them. However, they are not ordinary shoes by any means.   The desired destination is uploaded into the shoes via a USB port, which then sends out signals to a GPS tracker that is stashed in the left shoe. The red tag at the back of the left shoes houses the GPS antenna.  The closer the person wearing the shoes gets to the destination, the more lights will begin to glow on the tip of the right shoe. The further away the person walks from the destination, the fewer lights will be left aglow on the shoe.

Wearers of the shoe can also figure out which way to walk by simply looking at his or her feet while wearing these shoes, guided by the circle of LED lights on the left shoe. In other words, these shoes are designed to be a perfect silent roadmap.

It took a lot of thought and a lot of careful planning to make sure that the shoes would actually be functional when it came to their GPS abilities. Much of the problem lay in keeping the GPS’s power on, the shoes’ location easy to track, while also keeping the shoes looking tasteful. All of this was done using wireless communication, and has been powered by batteries similar to the ones in use for by cell phones. The shoe’s location is found by transmitters that are hidden in leather tags on the backs of each shoe.

GPS shoes
GPS shoes by Dominic Wilcox. The shoe worn on the left foot (on the right in this photo) has a circular set of lights to indicate the direction a person should walk. The shoe worn on the right foot lights up red lights sequentially to show progress with a green light at the end once the destination has been reached.

Wilcox calls these unique shoes the “There’s No Place Like Home” shoes, and is proud to say that they were commissioned by Global Footprint, one of Northamptonshire’s largest visual arts programs. In order to add an extra special homage to Dorothy and the shoe’s Wizard of Oz inspiration, Wilcox took the time to etch in an intricate illustration on the bottoms of each shoe, detailing a map to a cozy-looking home. The shoes’ red interiors, as well as the red tags that are used to conceal the GPS transmitter are both carefully planned nods to the famous Oz book series.  Similar to Dorothy, the wearer activates the GPS capabilities of the shoe through a heel click.

GPS shoes
With the Wizard of Oz as the inspiration, Dominic Wilcox calls his shoes, No Place Like Home GPS shoes.

Wilcox’s artwork and designs have been on display in many parts of England, in both solo and group exhibitions.

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