Click Your Heels Thrice, Hail A Cab Home

If Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz were to wake up in 2017, with her magic Ruby Slippers on her feet, she’d probably believe she had woken up in a magical world. But modern folks will need a little more magic to impress them. Like Clicking your heels thrice to get home with these Uber ruby slippers. [Hannah Joshua] was tasked by her employer to build a quirky maker project. She got an idea when a friend complained about having trouble hailing a cab at the end of a hard day at work.

[Hannah] started with ruby colored slippers with a platform toe and high heels to allow space to stuff in all the magic dust, err, electronic bits. The initial plan was to use an Arduino with a GSM/GPS shield but that would have needed a separate SIM card and data plan for the shoes. Instead, she opted for the 1Sheeld which connects to a smart phone over Bluetooth. The 1Sheeld gets access to all of the smart phone’s sensors including the GPS as well as the data connection. The Arduino and 1Sheeld are put in a cavity carved out in the toe section. The 9 V battery goes inside another cavity in the heel, where an activation switch is also installed. Three LED’s indicate when the shoe is active, the cab request is accepted, and when the cab is on its way.

The code is basic since this one of her first Arduino projects, but it gets the job done. It sends an http request to Uber’s API to request a cab. The destination is hard-coded, so the slippers only allow you to get from your current location to whatever destination is programmed. The GitHub repository provides code, as well as some additional information on construction. [Hannah] has also added notes explaining some of the design choices and things to take care about if you plan to build one of these magic slippers.

We covered the 1Sheeld when it was introduced several years back, and if you get your hands on one, try building this Hand Waving Door Unlocker.


21 thoughts on “Click Your Heels Thrice, Hail A Cab Home

  1. Love it. As simple as it is There is something magical about it. Though you would never catch me wearing red high heel shoes …..

    Now replace the switch with an accelerometer to tidy up the build and you’ve got yourself a winner.

    1. You’d want a set in each shoe so you can tell the difference between walking and asking for a cab, but should be doable. I’d also add some vibration motors for additional feedback on it.

    1. If, as stated, it was a first project, a 9V battery is way more immediate than a LiIon (or LiPo) battery and the step up board.
      But, surely, if it was a real product, a LiIon “may” be better.
      Only “may” and not “will”, because shoes are prone to moisture, and you don’t want to have your feet on fire other than on a dancefloor.

      1. No real advantage except 5 times the energy. If this thing sits in the shoe for a whole day or longer then the batetry can be down when you would need it. I just prefer rechargeable batteries and don’t like wasting nearly half of the voltage of a battery in a linear regulator. Although this is the easiest solution.

  2. I like it. It is sound to call transportation with your feet.

    Also, big data might predict when you will call a cab the next time based on previous calls, distance walked and based on how tired your feet are. Then, the cab might drive just next to you in walking speed, waiting for your click. Well, I still like it.

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