Ducere Technologies announced the launch of interactive haptic footwear under their wearable technology brand LECHAL (pronounced lay-ch-al, which means “take me there” in Hindi).
An app loaded on a smartphone pairs with the footwear via Bluetooth. The user interacts with the app and can set a destination. The phone’s GPS is used to calculate location data, and directions are conveyed to the user via haptics (simple vibrations) in the footwear.
The footwear also counts steps and calculates calories burned; allows the wearer to tag locations, set destinations, and start/stop/pause navigation, all by executing simple foot gestures; and alerts the user when the user’s smartphone is not in close proximity.
Founded in 2011 by two self-described tinkerers and graduates of MIT and the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, the Hyderabad, India-based company initially designed the footwear to help the visually impaired with mobility, through unobtrusive means, but realized that this innovation could be useful for anyone.
LECHAL Footwear are uniquely intuitive, offering easy mobility and convenience to the user. The product pack will include a pair of footwear (insoles or shoes), a charger and an app, which can be downloaded onto smartphone (Android/IOS/Windows compatible).
There are an estimated 285 million visually challenged individuals worldwide. The company hopes to provide people who are visually challenged the confidence to independently move around in familiar and unfamiliar areas.