Dominic Wilcox has created functional GPS shoes that promise to guide the wearer to any destination, anywhere in the world. A Global Footprint project in Northamptonshire, U.K., an area famous for shoe making, commissioned Wilcox to create a pair of shoes.
As he sketched his way to coming up with a design, he was inspired by the character of Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” and her ruby slippers. He decided to create shoes that could help anyone find home.
With the designer’s “No Place Like Home” GPS shoes, the user uploads the desired destination into custom mapping software via a USB cable—from shoe to computer. In good Wizard of Oz fashion, the GPS is activated by clicking together the heels of the shoes. The GPS is imbedded in the heel of the left shoe and communicates wirelessly with a ring of LED lights on top of the shoe. The lights indicate which direction to go. A series of lights on top of the right shoe indicates progress. The lights are set where traditional brogue shoe hole designs would be.
“In developing these shoes,” Wilcox said, “I tried different methods of communicating the direction of travel to the wearer, including vibration, though they just tickled my feet uncomfortably. The simplest and most effective method was to add a circle of mini LED lights that the wearer can just glance down at.”