The cell phonehas practical applications like helping the elders, says Paul Gardner-Stephen, the inventor, to the the Sydney Morning Herald.
The gadget was created by Gardner-Stephen, a post-doctoral fellow in bioinformatics at Adelaide''s Flinders University. He first created the device as a prop for a church camp drama presentation that had a "Get Smart" theme.
Gardner set himself a challenge to create the next latest gadget, the shoe-phone', after he discovered that the attempt had not been initiated as of yet.
His first attempt was just a simple Bluetooth installed in to the heels of a shoe, but the user still had to carry the handset along with him in his or her pocket.
He went on to further develop his idea along with a cobbler friend. He was successful in embedding a embedded a Motorola V620 in one shoe and a Bluetooth headset in the other. A hollow heel was hatched by the cobbler on the heels of the shoes to hatch the cell phone and headset inside.
"It's surprising, your first thought is it's completely impractical, but it's actually not that bad. The phone rings, you slip off the shoe, you open the heel and press the button and you're talking in around the same time it would take to fumble in a bag and pull the phone out," said Gardner-Stephen.
It was soon discovered that the technology could be applied to care for the elderly and remote patient monitoring. Gardner believes that storing electronics in a shoe would be unobtrusive and wouldn't be objectionable to older people who aren't comfortable with modern technology.
The shoe can also hold equipment to store and communicate pulse, blood pressure, blood oxygenation and other information. It can find a wide application in old age nursing homes whereby the shoe could detect a fall and automatically place a call to a medical carer over a speaker phone. "Shoes are well accepted by most people, and are simple to put on and take off," Gardner-Stephen said.
Gardner is all excited about selling the shoe phones this year after reviewing the online interest. The shoes will be on the online stores.