Vibrating smartshoes put Google Maps at your feet

The creator of the Lechal smart shoes says we may leave the house without a smart watch, but we'll never leave the house without shoes. Smart shoes could be the next big thing in wearable technology, an Indian startup claims, revealing a pair of internet-connected shoes that connect to Google Maps and guide the wearer with small vibrations.

The shoes from Ducere Technologies connect to a smartphone using Bluetooth.

“The shoes are a natural extension of the human body,” Krispian Lawrence co-founder and chief executive of Ducere Technologies told the Wall Street Journal. “You will leave your house without your watch or wristband, but you will never leave your house without your shoes.”

Blending in with existing apparel

The challenge faced by Google Glass and other wearable technologies is that they rely on the user being prepared to wear an extra item of apparel. Smartglasses are particularly noticeable, and have caused much debate over whether they could ever become a mainstream piece of technology.

Ducere believes that simply adding to the shoes people already wear in a more subtle and non-intrusive way, wearable technology can fit into everyday lives. The Lechal shoes - which means “take me along” in Hindi - were originally developed to help navigation for the visually impaired, but applications for fitness and the sighted were quickly realised.

Taking directions from the smartphone, the left or right shoe buzzes when walkers need to turn at a junction or fork, but are also packed with sensors to record distance travelled and calories burned.

The shoes and removable insoles containing the electronics and will be available for around £80 in September, are compatible with iPhones, Androids and Windows and are charged by an interactive charger that reports its charge status at the snap of your fingers.

(The guardian.com)


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