What is a haptic shoe?

A haptic shoe is a new shoe type that has been designed to utilize the haptic technology so as to enable the blind and visually impaired persons to walk independently without necessarily having to use the cane or any other traditional walking device. The shoe enables the users to detect obstacles and orientate as they walk by using a GPS Smartphone connected to a Bluetooth device. It was invented by Anirudh Sharma and developed by Ducere technologies. The technology is named Le Chal which basically means "take me along". This new technology has been proven and tested by the LVPEI in India, and has received lots of accolades for being a good solution towards giving the visually impaired autonomy and a sense of personal orientation. Not only can the shoe direct the blind and detect obstacles,  it can also be used for tracking daily activities like your steps or calories burned. This means that I can be able to track my fitness with this kind of a shoe.

How does this shoe technology work?

When I first heard about the shoe technology, I thought that it was hype, but I later learned and found out how it works. The technology actually utilizes the GPS Smartphone connected via a Bluetooth to enable users set their destination and walk without using their eyes. The shoe contains vibrators and actuators fixed at the front, sides and at the back of the shoes. Once the destination has been set, the Smartphone calculates the directions and lets the users know the directions by vibrating whenever there are obstacles or any potholes, and gives them a haptic signal to tel them they have to turn either left or right. Soon, the Ducere technologies will launch and produce different models of this shoe to enable users navigate all corners and streets without any problem.

Why go for Le Chal?

The shoe is available at relatively fair pricing of around $60 up to $100 thus affordable for virtually every user. They are also washable and antibacterial and thus once the battery system has been removed, the user can easily wash both the insoles and the entire shoe. The sensors and the detectors come are of course included in the package with its USB charger plus the shoe. The user must have a smartphone to connect with the shoe via GPS. . This means that sensing of obstacles have been made easy like never before. The shoe comes with sensors to detect stairs, obstacles, sidewalks and manholes. It is simply an amazing shoe technology.

Source: GizMag.com