Sole Searching is a shoe that reacts to the invisible space through which we all move. The shoe is a wearable bluetooth detector, picking up the signals that pass through the "hertzian" layer of our space and displaying and the names of nearby devices. This creates a record of a usually ignored aspect of our environment: the multitude of radio waves that surround us and keep us connected to our friends, our work, and the world at large. The information broadcast across these waves is often so invisible that we forget that it exists in the public realm. Sole Searching makes visible this reality with an LCD screen embedded in the shoe to display information specific to that time and place. Just like shoes, radio waves are with almost everywhere we go. We use the radio waves to transmit and access data, but ignore their presence due to the fact that we can’t see them. Sole Searching makes visible this invisible layer, heightening our awareness of the "hertzian" space around us. It is a passive and playful way to interact with this layer of space.
Prototype in situ action.
Streamline & upgrade design:
- incorporate all elements within shoe proper
- add sounds and lights to better capture attention of passerbys
Pictured: Adidas "Social Media Shoe" by Nash MoneyCredits: Pocket-Lint
More features to explore: what else can we identify and expose in the virtual world?
- browsing history
Practical applications: what can we do with such interaction?
- bring strangers together
- check-in to locations
- various games (e.g. try to find or avoid someone)
The possibilities are endless! :)
Today’s modern world is increasingly characterized by activity and productivity. The time it takes to get from here to there is constantly being cut down and the many modes of transportation are invariably made more efficient. One lives a fast-paced existence, in which travel becomes less and less an experience in itself and more and more simply a matter of how fast one gets to his or her next destination. With this in mind, our group questioned how we could reinvent the everyday experience of commute, through the simplest mode of transportation—our shoes. We saw much potential in the pursuit of this agent given that human beings, for the most part, wear shoes wherever they go and whenever they travel… and have since been using them thusly for thousands of years (possibly since 1200 B.C.). Therefore, despite the heightened efficiency of most transportation modes, the instrument thus experiences extensive usage spanning a wide range of settings.
After a considerable succession of brainstorming
sessions, the group decided on the basic concept—to have technology built around the shoe in order to divulge, to users and observers alike, striking information
concerning their largely invisible interaction with the world of technology. What
manner of information would be worth knowing about? After much deliberation,
the group decided upon an answer. We resolved to identify and display upon our
shoes the names of the users of various neighboring devices, believing that
this would pique said users to question their level of open identity sharing via
technology. Our approach thus falls within what has been termed “noir” design, and
concerns "hertzian" space in the making physical (i.e. visible) of the virtual, which was previously neglected
1. Obtain materials listed
2. Create shoe cover by overlaying shorts against shoe in desired conformation, then cutting accordingly to fit shape and size. Sew together to form cohesive unit (refer to assembly diagram or product picture for design)
3. Assemble electronics as depicted in schematic. Carefully solder joints together. Heat shrink any exposed wiring.
4. Download code (for the LCD display and bluetooth mate) and upload to the hardware. Also make sure to download the relevant libraries mentioned in the code.
5. Measure out and cut a hole within the side of the cover for the LCD display.
6. Carefully place electronics on the insides of the cover, with LCD screen in proper place. Sew on patches to cover up behind them. IMPORTANT: leave some space for two USB connections for any future coding of electronics.
7. Slip on shoes and cover.
8. Go forth and explore your virtual surroundings!
- Overabundance of cool ideas to choose from
- Group scheduling difficulties (general mismatch & lack of time individually)
- Lack of time to produce complex materials/designs (e.g. an entire 3D-printed shoe)
- Special-order bluetooth module delivered late (despite Amazon "guarantee")
- General challenge of working with materials (both electronic and generally physical)
- Challenge of programming execution (people don't generally do what we wanted to do, much less publish 'how')
- Coinciding midterm season