Wow! What if you were blind, and instead of a white cane, your shoes gave you directions? Or, even for people with no disabilities, you were navigating a strange city, and instead of having to constantly check Google Maps, your shoes showed the way? Pretty neat!
Check out the snazzy new Lechal shoe from India’s Ducere Technologies.
The shoe, also available as an insert that can go in your own plain-vanilla shoes, was invented by two young US-educated Indian entrepreneurs, Krispian Lawrence and Anirudh Sharma, who had a vision (ooops!) of using technology to help the visually impaired.
It’s billed as the “world’s first interactive haptic footware” (bet your mom would be shocked if she knew you were wearing haptic footware, eh?). When synched to the Lechal smartphone app, it vibrates to tell you which way to go.
And the water-resistant, breathable and anti-bacterial shoes have other features: “For those with 20/20 vision or near they are still useful – they can also calculate routes, steps taken, distance covered and calories burn to monitor workouts.”
I can see these as a critical tool for seniors as part of my “smart aging” paradigm as well, especially for those with dementia or Alzheimers.
As with other Quantified Self devices, you can share your walking and other data with friends via the device.
Here’s a cool feature: it claims to have the “world’s first interactive charger”: it gives audio feedback if you snap your fingers, and beeps to tell you the progress of charging, and the charger can be used as a fast charger for most phones, cutting down on the number of chargers you have to ride herd on.
Oh, BTW, Ducere gets extra points in my book because they don’t take themselves too seriously. To wit, “The technology that powers the shoe is embedded in its sole (pun intended).”