Ever thought of a Smartshoe? Well, Secunderabad, India based startup Ducere Technologies has come up with one.
The Smartshoe is called Lechal shoes and is expected to cost more than $100 (approx Rs.6000). Lechal in Hindi literally translates to “take me along”, (lay-ch-al), in Hindi is developed with the vision to offer products that are intuitive and unobtrusive, facilitating every user to evolve to higher lifestyles, reaping the benefits of making technology work for them. It is the world’s first interactive haptic footwear, innovated in India and designed for every one.
The shoes are Bluetooth enabled and will hit the market in September this year. The shoes work by syncing with a smartphone app that makes use of Google maps and vibrate to communicate to the users when and where to turn in order to reach their destination.
The user just needs to feed in his or her destination in their Smartphone and then leave it in their pocket because the buzzing in their left or right Smart-shoes will take them safely to their destination.
This wonder product has been invented by an Indian startup called Ducere Technologies Pvt. Ltd which was started by two US educated Indian engineers in 2011. The company now has around 50 employees and is situated in the Secunderabad city of Telengana.
According to Krispian Lawrence, co-founder and chief executive of Ducere, these Smartshoes will work as a natural extension of the human body. A person can forget his wallet, his watch while leaving the house but he can never forget wearing shoes.
The shoes were initially developed to help the blind. The cane which is currently used by many blind people helps them only in detecting obstacles but these shoes will tell them which direction to face or turn in order to reach their destination. While testing the smart shoes, the company realized that they can be equally useful for the sighted as well.
Features of Lechal Smart-Shoes –
The user simply needs to set a destination in the app, which then uses GPS to determine the best route.As the user walks, the shoes indicate upcoming directions via direct tactile sensations: vibrating on the left side of the soles to indicate an upcoming left turn, for example. The shoes can also sense and communicate other information, such as obstacles in the way.
‘LECHAL’ footwear counts your steps, and tracks your calories burnt. Through the App the user can set goals, create custom workout sessions and much more. It can help count the steps taken, calories burned and monitor your fitness goals.
‘LECHAL’ footwear allows you to tag locations, set destinations, start/stop/pause navigation, and much more, all by executing simple foot gestures.
The shoes can also be used to record the distance travelled and the amount of calories burnt.
The shoes and its removable insoles have been developed and designed in India but manufactured in China. The shoes and inserts will be available in red and black color options.
According to Mr. Lawrence, the company has already received orders for some 25,000 pairs and is expected to sell 100,000 pairs by March next year. The company is also planning on tying up with eye institutes and non-profit organisations to sell the Smartshoes to the blind at an affordable price.