A navigation for shoes and insoles

When you are out running, walking, or biking, it’s very inconvenient and potentially hazardous to keep your eyes glued to the map of your phone. Imagine if your shoes direct you on which way to go without you having to look over on your phone for direction and take your eyes off the road. That’s the idea behindLechal smart shoes and insoles from Ducere Technologies.

A path pulls from Google Maps using app over bluetooth will be synced with the shoes to tell you which direction to turn. A buzzing right shoe means to step on the right and a buzzing left shoe to go on the other way. This new shoe technology has been originally developed to aid people with visual impairments to navigate more effectively. But the company founders soon realized that this could be a much wider market.

Lechal now goes beyond just getting somewhere. They can be used to send proximity alerts to phones, notifying tourist of nearby interesting spots and landmarks. The footwear will also alert you if you accidentally leave your phone behind so you can be at ease and won’t be lost in the middle of nowhere. The shoe also aspire to work as a wearable fitness monitor to track steps and the calories burned.

A rechargeable battery should be slipped up into the very back of the insole or behind the heels of the shoes to keep it juice up. The battery itself has been dubbed “the world’s first interactive charger”, designed to give audio feedback as to its charging levels when you snap your fingers.

Interested buyers can sign up to be notified when preorder starts. The shoes will cost approximately  around $135/£80/AU$144 and will be shipped this september. Dulce Technologies also announced that sales to the general public will help subsidize Lechal footwear for the visually impaired.

However, this is not the first time that shoes and GPS has been linked together to help people find their ways. Dominic Wilson an artist from UK made a pair of prototype shoes in 2012. The shoes has GPS in the heels and light on the toes to direct walkers where to go. The tactile reaction of Lechal shoes takes the concept further, giving the wearer a much more ease in navigation with a minimized distraction. Though people with exceptionally ticklish feet might want to pass on this.

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