A startup company from India has created "smart shoes" that can give the wearer directions; they are expected to be especially helpful for the visually impaired.
The shoes are called Lechal, which means "take me there" in Hindi, Mahsable reported. The shoes were created by the company Ducere Tech.
The shoes work through a smartphone app and Google maps to help people get to their destination without ever glancing at the scree of their smartphone, the Huffington Post reported. Either the left or right shoe vibrates indicating where one should turn. Users can tag locations, set destinations, and stop or start the navigation all by using simple foot gestures.
"Delving deeper into the wearable technology space, Ducere's vision is to deliver 'The Ultimate User Experience.' Products that are intuitive and unobtrusive, facilitating every user to evolve to higher lifestyles, reaping the benefits of making technology work for them. Fashionable, stylish, durable, high quality, comfortable, integrating technology in to lifestyle, are
The shoes were originally designed to help blind people better navigate while using an included cane, but the company soon realized the shoes could have other uses.
"The white cane, while an effective aid, falls short with respect to navigation, directions and orientation," the two creators told an Indian lifestyle magazine, Mashable reported. "Moreover, current assistive devices rely primarily on providing audio feedback." Moreover, current assistive devices rely primarily on providing audio feedback.
Besides navigation, the shoes can help with fitness by tracking the number of steps taken. Wearers can use the app to set custom fitness goals and workout sessions.
The shoes and insoles will be available in September for about $100, they will be compatible with the iPhone, Android, and Windows phones, the Huffington Post reported.
"We initially designed LECHAL to help visually impaired with mobility through unobtrusive means; but soon realized that this innovation can be useful for everyone. We further developed to launch stylish footwear with interactive haptic-based navigational system guiding the user towards their destination through simple vibrations in the footwear," the creators told White Print.