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New Smartshoes Act as Compass for the Visually Impaired

Sorry, DOGS.


Lechal shoes are a perfect demonstration that wearable technology isn’t just for Google Glass elite—these miraculous smartshoes will help the visually impaired navigate city streets for fifty dollars or less (smartphone not included.)

Lechal translates to “let’s go” in Hindi, and the shoes wer designed by Anirudh Sharma of the MIT Media Lab and Krispian Lawrence. The idea behind the haptic interactive shoes is simple but could exponentially increase users’ independence.

Here’s a video from Lechal demonstrating the inspiring possibilities of their new technology.

Wasn’t that rousing?

Wearers enter an address using their phone’s voice recognition, and then the app uses GPS to determine a route. The shoes vibrate on the left or right foot to tell users which direction to go and vibrate more intensely the closer the wearer comes to their destination.


Obviously, users will still need to take precautions to avoid intersections and other dangers, but the shoes could drastically help the visually impaired—or anyone who wants a little extra guidance—navigate their way confidently through the city.

A pair of Lechals could be yours for 40-50 dollars for visually impaired wearers and $100 for everyone else, and they come with a pedometer and step counter.

Can’t wait to get your feet on them? The smartshoes will be available online March 7th, and the developers are reportedly in talk with major retailers.

(via Gizmodo, image via Le Chal)

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