“There’s no place like home… There’s no place like home… There’s no place like home.” In the American fantasy film Wizard of Oz, Dorothy transports herself back to Kansas by clicking the heels of her ruby slippers three times. Those same three clicks can now transport you home, by way of Uber.
Designed by Maker DJ Saul, Managing Director of Washington-based iStrategyLabs and innovator of the S.E.L.F.I.E. mirror, Dorothy is a physical trigger that can turn a dumb ol’ shoe smart. Adhering to the “if this, then that” principle, the Ruby is an Arduino-based device equipped with a Bluetooth chip, accelerometer and coin cell battery, while its housing is 3D-printed.
The small gadget can be either slipped into or clipped onto any piece of footwear and connected to a smartphone app that will automatically call a cab or send a message.
“Have you ever been stuck in an awkward situation, praying your phone would ring so you could politely extract yourself? Of course you have,” DJ Saul writes.
That is why the Maker has designed customizable triggers that are activated using three distinct clicks of the heel, which allows a user to escape those seemingly inescapable scenarios. For instance, a user can trigger a call to their phone from a fake boss to escape a bad date, send text messages to a friend with a personalized message and whereabouts, or alert their emergency contact when in danger.
The wearable can also summon an Uber ride. When the onboard accelerometer detects the three clicks, it sends a signal to the connected smartphone via Bluetooth and the action is instantly carried out. Uber then uses the phone’s GPS to know exactly where to send the car.
Though the Ruby currently seems a bit too big to fit comfortably and discreetly in most shoes, iStrategyLabs says the model is only a prototype. The team is currently working on reducing the size significantly as well as exploring the option of building it right into an insole.
Interested in learning more? Click over to iStrategy’s official project page here. Want to see other DJ Saul creations? Click once more here.