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JoySlippers (2008)

A pair of slippers for drawing, playing games and exploring alternative input.

Project website >> http://www.joyslippers.plusea.at
Maker Fair Video >> https://www.youtube.com/v/URYmRotpZRc&hl=en&fs=1
YouTube playlist >> https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6E4D565A956C1C9D
Pictures on Flickr >> https://www.flickr.com/photos/plusea/albums/72157603880355045

These slippers are designed with two pressure sensors embedded in each sole and can sense the weight being shifted between the toe and heel of each foot. This information is fed into a computer where a drawing application translates this analog input into drawing directions, so that the wearer of the Joy Slippers can draw with their feet in an etch-a-sketch fashion.

The drawing application demonstrates how different motions make different patterns, visualizing their capability to track motion. I am currently developing some simple games and other funny/useful applications for the Joy Slippers, as well implementing Bluetooth to make them wireless.


The Joy slippers make use of previously developed conductive thread pressure sensors, which are basically homemade force sensing resistors (FSRs). They are made from layers of conductive thread and ex-static which are embedded in the slipper’s soles. Via spiral telephone cord each foot is connected to an Arduino physical computing platform, which sends the analog pressure values to the computer’s serial port. A Processing applet reads these values, thresholds them and translates them into drawing directions.