Northamptonshire, a place known for shoe making. Founded there is the Global Footprint Commission. Designer Dominic Wilcox saw this as a challenge where he would thrive to achieve a creation that had yet to be invented. Taking the idea of transport and ‘The wizard of Oz’ where Dorothy clicked her heals and transported home, came up with the idea of the GPS shoe. These were to be a guide home. First Wilcox came up with the sketches and from there he would need a technician and then a shoe maker to produce the footwear. This is wear Becky Stewart (technician) and Stamp Shoes come in. Between the three skills combined ‘No Place Like Home’ where created. “Dominic Wilcox has created a fully functional prototype pair of shoes that will guide you home no matter where you are in the world.” Within the shoes is a piece of software where the user can selected the appropriate destination which is then uploaded through the USB to the shoes, both shoes communicate with one another to reveal the current destination of the user and then offer a direction that the user can then take to get themselves to the approved destination that they have selected. Arduinios is a microcontroller that the shoes are built around. “I chose mini LED lights as they needed to be visible outdoor in sunlight. There were other alternatives like digital displays but given the distance from the eyes these LED’s seemed the best option.” With a magnet in one shoe and a sensor in the other, this can detect when the magnet is in close range and manages to communicate with the other shoe that the heels have been clicked to start the GPS system. Helping the wearer get to their selected destination.
Early October a story had manage to make its way to the headlines involving a cyclist who was challenging a policeman over the way he was driving. Not unheard of, the cyclist was documenting the encounter through a camera which had been placed upon his helmet. As predicted technology is making its way to onto a person’s body becoming one with the user. People need to be connected with their technical devices. Devices that are constantly updating the user on their average day are becoming more common, this was the inspiration behind a piece of “wearable tech” released earlier this year by Nike. A band which records the movements of the wearers day synchs to their smartphone offering a variety of data from the number of calories burned to the number of steps they have taken. This method of ‘Exercise’ has sported some unusual habits, which commuters being spotted walking up and down steps repeatedly walking up and down stairs within a public transport station in order to reach the goal they have achieved. Recently Sony have released a new generation of watches, which relate to smartphones, these are known as SMARTERWATCHES. This piece of tech gets synched up with your Android Smartphones, and when the user receives a new call, texts etc. it allows the user to read the message upon the face of the watch. A piece of technology that google have developed that helps record the lives of the user. Five sensors located upon the device based upon light, motion, direction, colour and temperature; document the lives through the use of photos. This device can be clipped onto a lanyard so that the user will not find themselves behind the lens of a camera, or mobile phone during an occasion. The Autographer, can take approx. 2,000 pictures a day and has a 136 degree wide angle lens. It had grown out of a piece of equipment designed for medical use for Alzheimer patients. This device has grabbed the attention of photographers who has seen potential in the device to work alongside their traditional SLR cameras. “Especially with children, you can get some really candid shots when they don’t realise the camera is there,”
Technology is vastly growing and become a main influence in the modern day world. However there are companies specifically focusing on technology for enjoyment, which can be developed slightly just to make it help the user in their day to day lives. There isn’t enough technology like The Autographer that can help patients who go through illnesses, and struggling to live their lives. Technology is taking away from the hands on approach which is then straying people to become more lazy and unhinged from the world. I find even myself so addicted to technology that I am not acknowledging what is going on in front of my own eyes, and I’m missing pieces of relevant information pass by without realising it because my mind is to developed into my smartphone. “Schoolchildren can use an iPhone but cannot tie their shoelaces, poll finds” is an article I found whilst searching for my reviews. I found this information shocking but yet interesting. Surely companies must know this and yet have not done anything to improve it.
Wilcox, D . (2012). No Place Like Home GPS shoes. Available: http://www.dominicwilcox.com/gpsshoes.htm. Last accessed 18th Oct 2012.
Wakefield, J. (2012). Wearable tech pioneers aim to track and augment our lives. Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19664161. Last accessed 18th Oct 2012.