For our project, Christshon and I created a pair of shoes that are both fashionable and interactive. We were inspired by sneaker culture and wearable technology.
Out of all clothing items we feel that shoes are the one that have the most potential the it comes to wearable technology. That being said the only shoes that integrate fashion and technology are extremely overpriced and largely unobtainable for the average person. We feel that it’s time that interactive fashion became something that is accessible and to prove it we made this pair of shoes that illustrates how possible it is for designs like this to be made in a cost efficient way. Although the amount of interaction between the wearer and the shoe is not very extensive art the moment, we feel that this is a good place to build from and I am now much more aware of the possibilities within the realm of wearable tech.
Due to issues with shipping our process was pushed back quite a few times but we still found time to get it all done. The first step was making our user interaction diagram. This was our plan for how the user would get output and what output they would receive (LEDs). Next I bought the shoes from a thrift store for only $4. After purchasing them from Salvation Army, we saw that the shoes were pretty beat up so we had to clean them and then paint them in order for them to appear new. They came out beautiful all thanks to Christshon. I entrusted him with this task because he used to paint shoes a lot back at his home.
His inspiration for the colors and shape was the “heavy-duty sneaker” look that many high-end brands like Balenciaga and Gucci have been popularizing lately. After the painting was finished, we uploaded our code to our Arduinos, we began wiring the LEDs and Arduinos to the shoes.
- Arduino Uno
2. Jumper Wires
3. 10k potentiometer
4. New Balance Shoes
5. Neopixel RGB LED Ring
8. 9V Battery
9. Solderable Breadboard
It took a lot of time and even more troubleshooting but eventually we were able to get both shoes to operate smoothly. Then, we “created” a spot on the heel were the batteries would attach in order for them to not be in the way. We placed them behind the end of the shoe. Finally, we used wires to mimic shoelaces as we felt added to the futuristic vibe that we were striving for. Now that the physical component was done we put our focus onto creating the video that we would play as part of our presentation.
The idea was to create a video that demonstrated the importance of sneaker culture while also highlighting the progress that sneaker design has made since they first came onto the scene. The video was created using Premiere Pro and our plan was to create a makeshift screen to project it onto, however we did not budget enough time to create the screen so instead I decided to play the video off of Christshon’s laptop. We also decided to go with this option instead because the video lost some of its quality through projection.
Overall, I feel that we did a very good job despite the adversities Christshon and I had to endure. To be honest, he has been one of the best partners I’ve had on a project. So thank you David for letting us team up. Christshon and I will probably try to dive into some more wearable tech but let’s see for in the future. It was cool to see how Christshon’s knowledge of shoes and my knowledge of wearable tech bloomed together. I look forward to adding onto this project along with our given feedback and to explore more possibilities of art installations and wearable tech.
Collage of the process of the interaction: