It’s not often an airline will think of ways to make it easier to transport you to your favorite destination by foot.
London based air carrier, Easyjet has prototyped a shoe that will get you through the streets with no worries of getting lost. The “Barcelona Street Project” is a pair of sneakers prototyped on open source hardware that buzzes inside your left or right shoe letting the wearer know as they are walking when they need to turn left or right.
“Sneakairs,” is what they are calling the shoe , a pair of bright orange sneakers that are equipped with Bluetooth links that work with your mobile phone’s map app. The shoe buzzes in the direction you need to turn and buzzes several times if you are heading the wrong way.
The Sneakair is being prototyped in Barcelona with the tourist in mind. This pair of sneakers would be a dream come true for a person touring in another country that may have language barriers and have hard times navigating unknown areas. With a shoe like this, there would be no more need to ask for directions hoping someone speaks English while in Spain or another foreign country. There would be less worry in walking the wrong direction and even getting oneself into a dangerous situation. These smart shoes can be strapped on your feet and they will know where you want to go; would you buy a pair or would you make your own directional based shoe if you could?
The thought behind bringing these shoes to reality all starts with the maker mentality. The maker mentality starts with recognizing that there is an issue at hand and then finding a way to solve the issue by building a solution to the problem. In this case, the problem or issue is the mere fact that people travel all the time to unknown territory and could easily get lost, because they don’t know the area they are in. Having a built-in guide in the footwear on our feet can solve the issue. Microduino is one solution for makers ways to solve such problems. Their small size and ease-of-use can bring an idea closer to the reality of solving a problem or even just making an alternative solution.