Whether you are an active runner/cyclist, or perhaps just looking for a new path to take a stroll on, constantly looking at a map can not only get irritating fast, but obstructs your view of everything else. Ducere Technologies has come up with a way to solve this problem, and it all begins in the shoe.
The Lechal smart shoe and insole works pretty much how you think a vibrating guide-minded shoe would work. Firstly, the shoes sync over Bluetooth to an app that pulls your path from Google maps, then if you need to go left, the left shoe vibrates and if you need to take a right, the right shoe vibrates. While the idea for a guided fitness shoe seems straightforward, it was interestingly enough originally designed for the visually impaired.
But Ducere Technologies has loftier goals for their shoe besides simply navigation. They hope to bring the vibration guiding capabilities more functionality such as in the case of misplacing a phone, the shoes will let you know as you begin to drift out of range. Outside of the guiding, the company aims to add fitness tracking capabilities to the shoes as well, such as calories burned and distance traveled.
As far as charging the insoles or shoes, a removable and rechargeable battery is inserted in the back of the insole, or the heel of the shoe. These smart shoes also come with a ‘smart battery’, that uses audio feedback (a snap of the fingers) to let you know its charge status.
The shoes are currently priced for pre-order in the premium athletic shoe range at $135, and are shipping this September.