prayas abhinav's index

Bhatka Bhatka

These shoes help you get lost. If you know where you want to go, they'll make sure you don't get there. Drifting for the age of information glut.

Bhatka Bhatka in action (new) from Prayas Abhinav on Vimeo.


Interactive footwear / Acrylic, arduino and foam / Exhibited as part of the Continuum Transfunctioner show at Exhibit 320 / 2010


These are shoes which with the help of a GPS, some java code and a LED and vibrator, helps discovering new and unknown places in the city. It has a button for the wearer to store familiar / known locations and then while walking, it guides the walk towards locations that might be possibly unknown.

It divides the city into KNOWN LOCATIONS, KNOWN NEIGHBOURHOODS (the area surrounding a location) and UNKNOWN AREAS. The LED in the shoe blinks red when in a known location, blue in a known neighbourhood and green in an unknown area.

The vibrator vibrates with increasing intensity as the wearer walks towards a KNOWN NEIGHBOURHOOD or LOCATION.

Drifting, the art of getting lost in a city is increasingly becoming more and more difficult. Cities are planned and communicated through maps and software for commuting, for getting from point A to B in the shortest possible time. Streets and urban areas recede into the background, become mere backdrops to other activities and events. A way to use locative technology to get lost, to be dis-located was the idea behind the project. In a way it re-introduces drifting as a metaphor for the age of information glut.