Le Chal: The world’s first smart-shoe, to improve navigation for the visually impaired
When it comes to devising useful accessories for the visually impaired, the Indians have surely showcased their creativity and expertise in the past few months. We are in fact already enticed by the Braille Smartphone and the Netra. And now we have come across the Le Chal – the world’s very first ‘smart-shoe’. The brainchild of two tech aficionados, Krispian Lawrence and Anirudh Sharma, the so-called intelligent footwear is designed as a haptic navigation device that takes the advantages of smartphones The user can regulate this smart-shoe via a voice recognition software that translates the commands into comprehensible electronic signals. Consequently, the activated smartphone app utilizes GPS to track the user’s location in real-time and feeds the data to the built-in actuator. So, when the user needs to make a turn, the shoe vibrates to direct him/her towards the destination.
The working scope of the Le Chal (literally “let’s go” in colloquial Hindi) is pretty intuitive in itself. For example, if you need to make a right turn, the right part of both the shoes will vibrate simultaneously. Moreover, the vibrations increase in intensity as you reach closer to your destination.
The scope of the Le Chal is not just limited to navigational aid for the visually impaired. The smart-shoe pair can also come in handy when making those weekend treks, with its ability to gauge the quantity of calories burnt in accordance with the steps taken.
As for the commercial side of affairs, the Le Chal will make its debut from 7th March across online retail platforms. The pricing for the visually impaired people will be around the $40- $50 mark (around Rs 3,000), while it will shoot up to $100 (Rs 6,000) for other consumers.