Lechal haptic footwear guides you by buzzing your feet
Three years ago, we heard about a prototype shoe that could be used to guide the wearer via haptic feedback. Designed by Anirudh Sharma, who was then a researcher at Hewlett-Packard Labs in Bangalore, India, the Lechal shoe was intended for use mainly by the blind. This week, however, Sharma and business partner Krispian Lawrence announced that the production version of the Lechal will soon be available for preorder, and it’s aimed at helping all people navigate the city streets.
There are actually two Lechal products – a complete set of shoes, and polyurethane insoles that can be put inside existing shoes.
In both cases, they work by communicating with the user’s smartphone via Bluetooth. That phone is running a dedicated Android, iOS or Windows navigation app. In order to guide the user from their current location to their destination, it lets them know where and when to turn by causing one of the shoes to vibrate – the left shoe for a left turn, and the right for a right. (via Lechal haptic footwear guides you by buzzing your feet)
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