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Why, yes! Those high heels and that boot are fully functional cellphones

Feb. 5, 2013 at 2:09 PM ET

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I love high heels — the higher the better — and I probably couldn't get through a day without my phone, but I'd never want to combine the two. Unless you're a secret agent, super spy, or just plain crazy, there's no reason to ever speak into your footwear.

The marketing folks working for O2 — the UK arm of communications company Telefonica — probably agree with that line of thinking, but they couldn't resist turning some shoes into fully functional cellphones anyway.

As part of a promotional campaign for O2 Recycle, a program which encourages people to sell back their old gadgets, O2 had artist Sean Miles grab some iconic footwear — a Christian Louboutin heel, a classic men’s brogue, a Nike Air trainer and a Hunter Welly — and components from old Nokia and LG cellphones collected through the O2 Recycle program. Miles used the phone guts to enhance — or perhaps saying "disfigure" would be more appropriate — the footwear. The resulting creations would fit right in with Frankenstein's monster, but they are nonetheless functional both as phones and as shoes.

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Miles dubbed the process as "upcycling," converting what could be deemed as useless, old devices into something new. "I wondered how I could make phones that people might be embarrassed to be seen with into something that would give them a new lease of life — which is what upcycling is all about," he said, according to a press release provided by O2. "I’ve been using [the phone-shoes] while out with friends and they never fail to start a conversation, even when I’m not using them as a phone! I hope that they can get more people talking about the need to recycle old gadgets rather than binning them.”

Miles' creations are valued at £2,500 (nearly $4,000) each and are merely the first in a line of products the artist will bring into this world in partnership with O2. There are already plans for handbags and gloves with built-in phones. The whole collection of strange devices will be on display in a UK-based exhibition in March.

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