Wearable Shoe Phone




Introduction: Wearable Shoe Phone

Any sane geek would think that something as cool as Maxwell Smart's shoe-phone would be everywhere. You'd think there'd be a company or two selling them online, and the internet would be filled with hobbyists boasting about how proud they are of them.

But it's only ever been done once. That's right, there has only ever been one wearable working shoe-phone made. And it was made by a guy named Dr Paul Gardner-Stephen in Adelaide (in the world's sexiest country), who hasn't yet fully documented how he did it here. He also made a shoe bluetooth-headset, and thankfully he provided plenty of details. If you're ever looking to make a shoe-phone that's a little more technical than mine, he's the guy to talk to.

Anyway, due to the detail he provides, this instructable is largely based on Paul's shoe-headset, except... with a phone.

Things you'll need:
1. A nice-looking pair of shoes with wooden heels. The heels need to be big enough to fit a box 77x43x17 mm. If they cant, you'll have bits sticking out.
2. A Panasonic GD55. I.e. a SERIOUSLY tiny phone.
3. Big feet (to put in the big shoes)

This is where I got it all:
1. Shoes from a local op shop. I had to go to a few to find something that was good, but I found them eventually - $10
2. Phone from Ebay. And it came with a free headset - $46
3. Feet... well, I've had them for a while...

1. Dremel
2. Kitchen knife and fork
3. Strong glue (Liquid Nails)
4. A tiny little Hex screwdriver
5. A drill
6. A jigsaw

To make sure your shoe has wooden heels, look at the side of the shoe. You should be able to see a small line between the base of the heel and the wooden bit.

Or, if you're lazy, you can just buy this one on eBay.

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Step 1: Opening the Shoe

The rubber base of the heel should be attached by some nails (four in my case) and some nice strong glue. Slide something thin between the wood and the rubber, and then gradually try to prise it away.

I started with a craft knife, widened the gap until I could use a dinner knife, widened the gap further, then inserted a fork. I used the fork as a crowbar, and finally managed to prise the rubber from the bottom.

Keep the rubber bit somewhere safe.

Now do the exact same thing with the wooden bit. You should now have three pieces - the shoe, the wooden heel, and and rubber heel-sole. Put them all aside for a bit.

Step 2: Preparing the Phone

Remove the battery at the back of the phone. There are two screws, bottom left and bottom right, that are both covered by small stickers. Remove the stickers.

Note that the screws require tiny hex screwdrivers... If you already have one - GREAT - otherwise, take the phone to your local hardware store and show them - they should be able to find what you want.

Remove the screws, and then remove the phone's front face. Up the top of the circuit board, you might notice another little screw - remove it with the same screwdrivers.

Make sure to set the three screws aside somewhere safe.

Now you'll need to git off the phone's aerial. I just used a saw, and then sanded the stub back so it was almost flush with the phone. A tiny piece should fall out from the centre of the aerial, so it now has a nice hole in it. Solder a wire about 10cm long to the aerial's contact on the circuit board, and feed this wire through the hole where the aerial used to be.

You might like to spraypaint the front of the phone's case black now - just make sure you cover the screen with masking tape. I was silly, and waited until the phone was put back together.

Once you've put the phone back together, turn it on and make sure you're getting reception (and make sure you have a SIM card in the phone).

The phone is now ready to be put inside the shoe.

Step 3: Making a Hole in the Shoe

Mark the area in the wooden heel the needs to be cut out to fit the phone. Make sure you have some way of charging the phone up. Drill big holes at the corners, and use a Jigsaw to cut yourself a hole.

Make sure the phone fits in the hole. Now you can glue and/or nail the wooden heel back onto the shoe.

Now it's time for you to do a bit of thinking:
Is your shoe going to be worn anywhere besides nice carpeted areas? If so, you'll want the phone to be completely covered by rubber, and you'll need to work out how you'll see the phone's screen etc. I'd recommend making a removable flap in the rubber, but still make sure you have easy access to the 'answer' and 'hang up' buttons at all time.

If, like me, your shoe-phone is more for show, and doesn't need to be taken over rough terrain, just cut a hole in the rubber sole a little bit smaller than the phone (just big enough to allow access to the buttons and the screen). I used a simple craft-knife for this.

Step 4: Putting the Phone in the Shoe

This is when I finally spraypainted the phone, after putting it back together. Now put a little bit of hot glue underneath the phone, and put it in place inside the shoe.

Then all you need to do is re-attach the rubber heel. I used a combination of nails and "liquid nails" (a strong all purpose slow-drying glue).

Finally, clamp everything down, and go to sleep. When you wake up, it'll be good. If you don't wait, it'll fall apart.

Step 5: Final Notes

Just so everyone knows, I have no experience with anything like this, besides the NESBlinky on this site, and my other instructable. I've never disassembled shoes, or anything like that.

I'm probably doing things the silly way - if you can think of a better way to do things like this, by all means try it out. And tell me - I'd love to improve my design.

I'd also like to say that if you're not careful, you could easily ruin the phone or the shoes. So be careful.

Finally, if anyone has any crazy ideas, please tell me. I'm considering turning the left shoe into an mp3 player, but I'm not sure how silly I'd look with a cable running from my shoe to my headphones...

Stay tuned (or subscribe to me and wait) for Shoe-Phone 2.0, where the phone will be completely concealed, and buttons will have to be moved. It'll be a lot more complicated, but the result will be six times better :)

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    48 Discussions

    paul the maker
    paul the maker

    4 years ago

    first time i saw this it made me lagh but you shold use a nokia it wold survive a nukela bomb


    10 years ago on Introduction

    you from australia, i think the phone said 'yes optus'


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Interesting concept! Buuut I think I would never eat at your place no offense :) hahaha.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Try adding a feature that you can use your big toe to answer.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    some one should make something like this must its a roller skate and its motorized that would be awsome


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Here's a crazy idea . . . Try getting on a plane wearing this. I'm pretty certain you'd immediately become the centre of attention ;¬)


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    lolllll, could you imagine seeing that on tv?, that would be greatttt


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Well, you might not be able to see that one on TV, but you can see me using one of the ones that Michael spoke about in his instructible in this TV news report:

    Of course, it is even more fun to use in real life, including when an interview about the shoe phone gets interrupted by the shoe phone ringing. Although the strangest moment so far would have to be when it first rang when I was driving.

    Dr. Paul Gardner-Stephen