Lara Grant

Musical Shoes

This project is a fun way to create beats while hitting the dance floor. It’s also a great beginner level project that uses Arduino, bluetooth, and soft conductive fabric switches.

A few months back I came across an easy way to trigger sound files while being able to choose and change the sounds on a whim. I combined this with my love of making musical interfaces to create a fun and easy project to share.

How do they work? There are three soft switches made of conductive fabric on the bottom of each shoe that are connected to an Adafruit Feather Bluefruit 32u4 board. The board is programmed to be recognized as a bluetooth keyboard so whenever a switch is closed it’s read as a keystroke. For example, when a switch closes it’s the same as the “n” key getting hit on the computer’s keyboard. These keystrokes are mapped to sound files using a piece of free software called Soundplant. The shoes wirelessly connect through bluetooth and each time you tap a toe or click a heel a sound file will play from the computer. Connect a bluetooth speaker to the computer to get louder and better sound!