What's the next step after making a handset for a cell phone? Turning a shoe into a full-fledged phone - just like in Get Smart. Well, sort of.

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Status:   Stopped
Reason:   Cell phones get crushed easily..

After creating a cell phone handset, what’s the obvious next step in cell technology? Embedding a phone in a shoe!

There was quite a bit of thought put into this project – the ideal shoe, the ideal phone, how to cover/uncover the phone, structural integrity of the shoe, etc.

I went with a “skater shoe” because I liked them at the time, and also they had a very flat sole with quite a bit of rubber. I took the shoe to a shoe maker who cut off the bottom piece of rubber, removed material in between the sole and bottom of the shoe, and then created a flap with velcro so that the phone could be exposed and then re-covered without anyone being the wiser.

Having this shoe, I gave it a few test runs without the phone in place. I found that the material that was removed used to provide a significant amount of structural support. Every step felt like my foot was on the verge of falling through the bottom of the shoe. Not good.

I cut a piece of sheet metal (steel/zinc alloy) from Home Depot in the shape of my foot which could fit under the sole of the shoe. It gave a good compromise between comfort and structure, so this would at least let the phone survive for a little while!

With the shoe in good condition, I started on the phone. The phone I used was a Motorola T720 flip-style phone. There was a very thin, very delicate ribbon cable that connected the LCD to the rest of the phone. I started with two donor phones, and soon realized how delicate these ribbon cables were. Ok, down to one donor phone.

I got the phone components removed from the plastics, had it placed inside the shoe, soldered up a connection so the antenna mounted in the front of the shoe would be usable, and even made a battery/SIM card holder with the sheet metal because they used to be part of the plastic housing. Everything looked great!


After securing everything in place and closing it all up, I took the foot phone for a spin. A few steps in, *CRACK*. Well, there goes the second donor phone. Project put on the shelf.