Finding your way around unfamiliar territory just got even easier with these new smart shoes from Indian start-up Ducere Technologies.
Its snazzy-looking Lechal smart shoes incorporate Bluetooth technology and Google Maps into a special insole which will fit most shoes. Linked up to a smartphone app, the insoles will then emit a buzz in either the left or the right shoe to indicate that you need to change direction.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the name ‘Lechal’ means ‘take me along’ in Hindi. The product was developed with the original intention of making travel easier for the visually-impaired – much of the world’s population with significant sight problems live in India, relying on canes to help them get around. Canes, while helpful for detecting obstacles, fall short of indicating direction – and that’s where the Lechal shoes come in.
If this technology is accurate and becomes affordable and widespread, it could significantly improve the way we travel à pied. It would also eliminate the need to glance down at a phone constantly to check your location, reducing the likelihood of being targeted for mugging in a busy street.
The shoes and inserts will come in red or black and be priced between $100 and $150. They will be available in select stores this September.
By Sadie Hale | July 25th, 2014