Smart shoes to guide the blind, is it possible? It may be! An Indian Startup Ducere Technologies, has found a new solution: smart shoes equipped with a GPS navigation system. The shoe is called Lechal, which means “take me along” in Hindi. The problems that the blind usually face when they navigate are orientation, direction and obstacle detection.
Lechal shoes are capable of buzzing to let you know which direction you should take. How does it work? At first, you give your direction by using a voice application. The shoes connect to Google Maps and buzz your left or right foot depending on which way you need to go to reach your destination. The systems operates by communicating with the smartphone via Bluetooth.
Simple, isn’t it? But that’s not all. The system also helps to avoid obstacles like stones and steps. It doesn’t replace the white stick but it can give an additional benefit for a visually impaired person.
There are actually two Lechal products; a complete set of shoes, and insoles that can be put inside existing shoes. Their characteristics are identical and the battery should be good for three to ten days.
This idea was found by Krispian Lawrence and Anirudh Sharma, respectively graduated from the University of Michigan and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in order to use technology to help visually impaired.
This product now becomes known worldwide. It calculates your fitness goal, your calories burned and milestones. Useful or superfluous? You be the judge! But what is certain is that it is a useful help for blind or visually handicapped people.