This project was a collaboration between Eric Morrison and myself for NMD 200. We decided to create a pair of shoes that shows the user’s heartbeat in a a very public manner, through LED strips on the sole of the shoe. This project takes the field of biofeedback to a whole new place. Our intention with the shoes was to blur the lines between humanity and technology, and also between what is private and what we share with the outside world. The expert at the counseling center that we spoke to informed us about the anxiety that people may feel when wearing the shoes because the heartbeat is usually so personal. He also mentioned several other applications for adaptations of our project.
We created a proposal for the project in Illustrator and used it to apply for the New Media Micro Grant. We used NeoPixel strips, Adafruit Flora Boards, and pulse sensors to visualize the user’s heartbeat on the sole of the shoes. The project was coded in the Arduino environment.