Getting lost isn’t quite as easy as it used to be. With GPS navigation and Google maps available at the swipe of a finger on a smart phone, we don’t even have to ask for directions. But there is a certain pleasure in finding your own way around the world, both literally and figuratively.
British designer Dominic Wilcox has designed a pair of shoes that help show the way home while getting lost in interesting neighborhoods. The surfaces of the shoes have LEDs set in the holes that usually let the feet breathe. The circle of LED’s on the left shoe show the direction the wearer needs to move in, while the right one shows the distance left. This is made possible thanks to the GPS technology embedded in the heel. A red ankle tag tells communicates wirelessly to the GPS. You can store the coordinates of your home, or presumably anywhere you may want to hoof it to, through a USB cable that plugs into the shoe. Custom-made software uploads the data and you’re ready to go. With all the technology involved, you’d expect the shoes to look like something out of Gundam, but the shoes are very much on trend. These grey leather brogues have red laces and a red calf-leather lining, making a connection to Dorothy’s ruby shoes. The soles have been carved with hand drawn maps that add to the charm of the shoes.
“No Place Like Home” was developed with the help of Becky Stewart from Codesign and made by Stamp Shoes in Northhampton and was shown at the London Design Festival at KK Outlet. While they may not take the place of more “traditional” way finding technology, this integration of technology into everyday products makes us smile with joy. View a video here.