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ArchPort to bring Maxwell Smart's shoe phone to life
21
Jun '08
While other spies hide their cameras and surveillance devices in pens, cigarette cases and lighters, Maxwell Smart cleverly hides a telephone in his shoe. Soon, the most famous prop in television history will come to life if Matt Potts, founder and president of ArchPort Shoes, has his way.

Taking things one "step" at a time, Potts has incorporated a wallet feature into his company's ArchPorts - sandals and athletic shoes named for the wallet's arch location in the sole, and port-like look. The concept is new and "radically innovative," according to Potts, who came up with the idea back in 1989 while playing tennis.

He was later driven to file a patent while working out and recognizing the need for an unobtrusive place to store and access valuables. “It's just not comfortable to carry stuff in your pockets, especially a wallet,” says Potts.

His patent issued in the year 2000, and implementations of his patent are now available on the market through ArchPort and other branded footwear. More innovative applications of his patent are expected to reach the market in coming years – including a cell phone footwear concept.

Currently, the ArchPort's removable cartridge is designed to carry cash, several credit card-sized items and at least one key. A cell phone product is in development that meets the criteria to be integrated into the shoe's sole, though Potts says "there are some challenges to partnering with a company that can meet all of the criteria necessary to incorporate a shoe into the sole.

However, some cell phones are now durable enough to handle the impact (i.e. Casio, GZ One), and cell phones are getting smaller and more resilient, characteristics necessary to employ the concept in footwear.”

Looking ahead, Potts envisions using the ArchPort concept for Global Positioning Systems (GPS) transceivers, computer data, remote controls, wireless MP3 players, battery modules, heaters and other gadgets placed in platform shoes, skateboarding shoes and other types of footwear. "The patent covers many potential configurations using the ArchPort cartridge," says Potts.

Innovation aside, ArchPort's footwear are just plain comfortable and functional. They retail for as little as $44.95 and are available nationwide through Shoebuy.com, Hammacher Schlemmer, QVC, and ArchPort.com. Check also with a local retailer for availability.

ArchPort Shoes

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Courtesy: House of Fraser

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