This Arduino project lets you literally step into someone else’s shoes


What if you could actually put yourself in someone else’s shoes? A group of Makers is making the old-school idiom possible.


Imagine being able to step into a friend’s shoes and experience their activities? Or having your family follow you around the world? What if you could spend a moment in the cleats of your favorite athlete? Makers Lukas Gächter, Olivia Stadler and Ramon Marc are looking to make that possible through their latest project.

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Originally designed for an embodied interaction class, the so-called “Stellvertreter Shoes” are able to convey the feeling of being close to a person who happens to be somewhere else by transferring the activities of the distant person’s shoes into the footwear of others.

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The Stellvertreter Shoes are comprised of two components: a pair of input shoes and a pair of output shoes. The input shoes are equipped with two pressure sensors, each of which can record the movements of the wearer. Meanwhile, inflatable silicone cushions are embedded into the laser-cut cork soles of the output shoes. Based on the motions of the input shoe wearer, the cushions expand and deflate accordingly.

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The interaction between the two shoes is done via shiftr.io, an IoT prototyping platform that provide users the ability to communicate and share data publicly. The shoes are controlled by two Arduino Yún (ATmega32U4), while movement sequences are recorded and played back through Processing. A real-time view online shows the shoes’ sensor fluctuations.

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Ultimately, the project aims to enable people to feel a loved one’s steps as they travel around the world and even, to experience a sport star’s strides. Interested in learning more? Stroll on over to the project’s official page here, and be sure to watch it in action below.

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