It’s been 75 years since Judy Garland clicked her ruby red slippers in a desperate attempt to get home to Auntie Em. Now you can click your heels to do a whole lot more than travel the time-space continuum, and you don’t even need a pair of sequined shoes to do it.
Washington, D.C.-based digital agency iStrategyLabs recently unveiled a new device, aptly named Dorothy, which allows you to trigger certain actions on your iPhone by clicking your heels together three times. A micro-controller no bigger than a fun-size candy bar, Dorothy clips onto your shoe, relying on an internal Bluetooth chip and accelerometer to send signals to an app on your phone.
You can use Dorothy to help you escape a bad date by programming the app to generate a fake phone call. All you need to do is click your heels to indicate that you can’t listen to one more word about exchange-traded derivatives. It can send your exact location to friends, call a cab or even order a pizza. And the folks behind the technology are crowd-sourcing more uses for Dorothy, open to the limitless possibilities enabled by the concept of web automation service “If This, Then That.”
The Dorothy team is working on smaller models that would make the device more inconspicuous, especially for those not keen on adorning their shoes with a ruby-emblazoned piece of hardware. And DJ Saul, iStrategyLabs’ managing director, envisions greater customization in the future. He illustrated what this might look like, telling the Daily Dot, “One click is ‘call my phone,’ two clicks is ‘send a message,’ three clicks is ‘order an Uber,’ four clicks is ‘order a pizza,’ five clicks is ‘open my garage door,’ and so on and so forth.”
Eliminating a few taps on our phones by clicking our heels is either a sign of our supreme and irreversible laziness or the power of technology to simplify our lives. For now, let’s stick with the latter.