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'No Place Like Home' Shoes Use GPS To Get You There

Sep 21, 2012
Originally published on September 21, 2012 4:53 pm
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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

If you've ever thought...

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE WIZARD OF OZ")

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (As character) There's no place like home...

CORNISH: And wished you could just...

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE WIZARD OF OZ")

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (As character) Close your eyes and tap your heels together three times.

CORNISH: Well, hold on to your house because now you can.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

A British artist has designed a pair of shoes inspired by Dorothy's ruby slippers in "The Wizard Of Oz" that really will help you find your way home.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE WIZARD OF OZ")

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JUDY GARLAND: (As Dorothy) Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

DOMINIC WILCOX: The shoes can navigate you home, of course, and I've called them No Place Like Home.

SIEGEL: That's the wizard behind the No Place Like Home shoes, Dominic Wilcox. The secret to his magic is a GPS device built into the heel.

CORNISH: They look like a pair of men's dress shoes: grey with red trim. On top of the left shoe are several LED lights arranged in a circle that point in the direction you should walk.

SIEGEL: And on top of the right toe is a row of lights that tells you how much farther you have to go. So instead of following the yellow brick road, you follow a blinking red light.

WILCOX: I think electronics are the closest thing we have to real magic in some way. You know, you can do things, and if the electronics are hidden, particularly, there's some feeling of surprise and magic comes about by using things like that in inventive ways.

CORNISH: There are currently no plans to mass produce the No Place Like Home shoes. In fact, as of now only one pair exists, making them far more rare than Dorothy's original ruby slippers.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

GARLAND: (Singing) Some day I'll wish upon a star and wake up where the clouds are far behind me, where troubles melt like lemon drops, away above the chimney tops, that's where you'll find me.

CORNISH: You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.