An Indian hi-tech start-up has developed a real life GPS enabled smart sports shoe which vibrates to give directions to the wearer. The sneakers can also count the number of steps taken, distance travelled and calories burnt. The smart shoes called LeChal,which means “take me along” in Hindi are ready to go on sale very soon.
A detachable Bluetooth transceiver is integrated into the shoes which links to a smartphone app. This app directs the wearer using Google Maps and sends a vibrating signal to indicate a left or right turn.
Krispian Lawrence and Anirudh Sharma who developed this smart shoes founded their start-up, DUCERE, in 2011.
We all know that wearable technology is all the rage these days. But This idea was brought up with the aim that it would really help visually challenged people as it would work without any audio or physical distractions.
“The shoes are a natural extension of the human body,” said Krispian Lawrence, 30, co-founder and chief executive officer of the company. “You will leave your house without your watch or wristband, but you will never leave your house without your shoes. “The footwear works instinctively. Imagine if someone taps your right shoulder, your body naturally reacts to turn right, and that’s how LeChal works
While testing the shoes, the company realized its potential for the sighted as well. For example joggers, mountain bikers or even tourists can plug in their destinations and not have to stop to check their phones as they move because the buzzing in their shoes will let them know when to turn.
Smart shoes are generally aimed at demographic markets like dementia patients and children whose parents want to track their movement. But this smartshoe will target mass market consumers and it’s main focus is on creating stylish footwear along with hi tech function.