WASHINGTON (WNEW) — It may not be the ruby-red slippers seen in “The Wizard of Oz,” but one D.C.-based tech company created a phone app based on the premise of those magical shoes.

The new app, called Dorothy, interacts with a small “ruby” device on the shoe, which allows users to literally click their heels to get out of a sticky situation.

“We’re sitting here at our conference table, I’m doing it right now and you probably have no idea that I’m clicking my heels, yeah, yeah that’s the idea,” said DJ Saul, the CMO and managing director of iStrategyLabs. “The main use is calling your phone with a real phone call from a fake contact,” says Saul. “So you indicate I want a call from ‘the boss’ or ‘the significant other’ or whatever you want it to say and you’ll actually get a phone call that says it’s from ‘the boss.’”

Anyone who has been on a bad date or stuck in the midst of an uncomfortable conversation might see the practicality in that.

Saul says the app can also send text messages. The message has to be typed out ahead of time, but once you click your heels “you can say anything from ‘SOS’ to ‘meet me at…’ and then you can toggle on your location. So you can send a text message broadcasting your location as well.”

“Right now the concept is supposed to stretch from the fun, whimsical, magical kitsch all the way to the potentially real use case of actually saving you from a potentially dangerous situation,” says Saul.

The ruby is clipped to the tongue of the shoe but, as iStrategyLabs works to make the ruby smaller, it could eventually be built into your insole.

“What it’s looking for is five spikes in the data. If you think about clicking your heels in, and then you move them back out, and then in, and out, we’re actually listening for five spikes in data in a very short window of time,” Saul says.

Saul says it’s also smart enough not to read into “false positives” that could occur when someone tries to kick mud off their shoes or simply walks.

The app appeared on NBC’s “Today Show” and the syndicated “Meredith Viera Show.”

Dorothy is still in the prototype stages at iStrategyLabs.

WNEW’s John Domen contributed to this report. Follow him and WNEW on Twitter.


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