A Get Smart Style Shoe Phone (gen 2)




This is another in my Get Smart series, which also includes my first working wearable shoe phone, a cone of silence and a phone booth.

This real working shoe phone, with the phone in one shoe and the bluetooth headset in the other, was the basis of a Flinders University press release, on The New Inventors and a headline item on the ABC South Australian TV News:

It was also used in a couple of dozen radio interviews which were conducted by shoe phone, including this one. You can find more details at http://realshoephone.com

It will be informative to review the instructable for my first shoe phone if you want to make this one, but not necessary.

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Step 1: Buy Yourself a Nice Pair of Shoes

The most important characteristic for the shoes is that they have an old style wooden heel, or at least one that is removable, since that is an option too.

It is also helpful if the sole is reasonably robust.

Step 2: Get a Suitable Mobile Phone and Bluetooth Headset.

Now, this shoe phone works by having a bluetooth headset in one shoe, and a mobile phone in the other. The reason for this is that when you see a mobile phone in the shoe when opened, it kind of ruins the magic of it being a shoe phone, rather than just a piece of consumer electronics wedged into a shoe.

I used a Motorola V620, since it has an external antenna. This makes it easier if you end up with a metalic lid on the heel, since a phone with an internal antenna would probably be too shielded to operate.

The V620 works fairly well, but with two annoying caveats: (1) it doesn't do bluetooth if you put a 64KB SIM in (took a while to figure that out); and (2) when on bluetooth you can't use a custom ring tone, instead it always uses the default ring tone. This was a bit disappointing, because it feels like a shoe phone should have a real telephone type ring tone. On the upside, it does voice dialing, which means you can ring out from the bluetooth shoe. Anyway, enough analysis of the V620.

As for bluetooth headsets, I used a Motorola H500, the same as I did with my first shoe phone. The H500 proved itself to be a good basis for a shoe phone.

Step 3: Prepare the Hollow Heels

This is the relatively complicated bit.

Remove the existing heels, and replace them will hollow compartments, that use studs to help the lits lock on.

The heel can be made from three pieces of wood that form the sides and rear of the heel. A small piece of wood or metal can then be used to mostly close the front of the compartment, leaving enough room for the telephone antenna or headset charger as appropriate.

A screw in one corner of the heel through a sheet of aluminium works satisfactorily. You can then use contact cement to glue a thin rubber sheet over the metal after you have screwed it into the heel.

Embedding studs into the wood and metal so that when it is being stood on, it cant open or rotate.

Then a clasp on the side of the heel and welded to the metal lid (this is where using steel would make it easier than aluminium, so you don't have to have to worry about oxidation) is all you need to allow it to stay shut when you walk around.

A permanent pen works well to reduce the visibility of the clasp.

Now, I cheated a fair bit here, by using the services of a family friend who is a cobbler, who had a ball of a time working on it. I can heartily recommend this method. But if you have to do it yourself, and are handy with tools, you shouldn't have too much trouble.

Either way, make sure that you make the compartment sufficiently big enough to fit the phone of your choice. I'd recommend allowing a few extra millimetres in the vertical direction, because the lid has a habit of bending inwards over time, especially if you use fairly thin aluminium like I did.

Some padding is probably a good idea to avoid unnecessary scratching. You might need to cut some notches in the padding if you use a phone like the V620 that has buttons on the outside, otherwise it might press buttons while you walk. (This happened to me early on, with the result that my shoe left a message on my mobile phone, and would have made any spy service proud with the way it picked up the conversations around me. Of course, pretty much this trick has been used by the KGB since the 1950s.

Step 4: Install the Electronics and Test.

Once you have made the hollow heels, you have actually done the hard part.

All that is left to do is to assemble it, by putting the phone in one shoe, and the blue tooth headset in the other. I used some PETG plastic sheet and a thumb tack to wedge the H500 into the shoe.

If you haven't already, you can watch the video of the TV item where they show me using it.

I'll also endeavour to upload some more images when I get the chance.

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    37 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Shoe phones are gr8 but what about putting that nasty shoe up to your face after it's been on a sticky men's room floor, or down a sidewalk full of phlem coughed up by hobos, or piles of pigeon doo from an overhanging sign??

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    That's why the half-sole is removable, and the heel swings away, to reduce the ick factor somewhat (although I do concede, not entirely). Of course, no self-respecting CONTROL agent would be found in such unsavoury locations in the first place. But the real solution is that the medical applications of the shoe phone would be based on a model that is a speaker phone, and doesn't even get taken off when placing or receiving a call. Dr. Paul Gardner-Stephen.


    8 years ago on Step 4

    you dont have to buy a hole new small phone for the shoe do you coudnt you just use the phone in your poket so you just attach a head set in to the shoe

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 4


    You are right that you can have the phone in your pocket. It just depends how authentic you want it to be, and whether you want the ringing to really come from the shoe. I have used it with the phone in my pocket on occasion, and most people can't tell the ringing isn't coming from the shoe.



    9 years ago on Introduction

    Anybody know a cell phone with an external antenna that you can have a different ringtone and still be on bluetooth?

    2 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Depending on how you make your shoe phone, you may find that a phone with internal antenna will be okay.  It really will be a case of try it and see.  I'd try something like a Sony z310i for a small clam-shell phone that has a classic phone ring built in, and definately still uses it when connected via bluetooth.  I use a z310i in my pocket with the shoe phone when I can't be bothered pulling the sim out and putting it in the Motorola v620 in the other shoe.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    he he :) If I get the chance I intend to make a planned visit to an airport to see what the response would be. Of course I will liaise with the airport security first, so that I don't get into trouble. Dr. Paul Gardner-Stephen.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Hi again, Well, here I am in San Francisco after wearing the shoe phone all the way from Adelaide, Australia via Sydney, Australia on the planes. Apart from some friendly interest by the airport security people, it was without incident. So it turns you can fly with it; but it is a good idea to tell airport security first. I'll upload the photo of me in a 747 with the shoe phone to my ear when I get the chance. Dr Paul Gardner-Stephen.