Seven League Boots are the stuff of fairy stories but a new design known as "Seven Mile Boots" is aiming to assist the wearer travel virtually whilst strolling around a city.
Sitting somewhere between performance and experiential art, Seven Mile Boots are interactive shoes with audio. One can wear the boots, and walk around simultaneousy in the physical world and in the literal world of the internet. By walking in the physical world one may suddenly encounter a group of people chatting in real time in the virtual world. The chats are heard as a spoken text coming from the boots. The concept is that whenever you wear the boots, the physical and the virtual worlds will merge together.
Chatting on the net has become a phenomenon during the last decade. The seven-mile-boots are intended as an interface to move within this text-based non-space of the chatrooms. The boots have two different modes; walking through the net and standing/ listening/ observing the chat-activity.
When walking, the boots seek a new selection of channels from the net. The boots contain all the necessary technology and the user does not control or influence the experience - there's a computer with wireless network, sensors, amplifiers and loudspeakers. The boots are ready to function in any location with an open wireless network, though poresumably you'll need some sort of filter for public places where the chat room contents may not be suitable to be read aloud by your boots in a public place.
The boots are intended to shift the viewpoint from the physical to the conceptual, focusing on the ordinary everyday activities and desires of people and offer a perspective into the processes, which are an inherent part of our current lifestyle.
When the user is wearing the seven-mile-boots and standing still s/he can listen several chat rooms simultaneously becoming a super-voyeur, and able to search in several places and observe various situations simultaneously in the net.
After putting on the boots they start looking for active chat channels. When the user walks around s/he can locate a chat activity through audio. S/he will hear himself passing through a group of chatters or s/he can decide to stop for closer observation. The boots log into the chat rooms automatically under the name of "sevenmileboots".