India-based Ducere Technology launches smart navigational footwear

Lechal is a technology-enhanced shoe that can help the visually impaired navigate any route more easily.

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Lechal haptic footwear by Ducere Technology
Lechal haptic footwear by Ducere Technology

Designed by Ducere Technologies, India’s first wearable technology company, Lechal is a new navigational and activity-tracking shoe. Ducere founders Krispian Lawrence and Anirudh Sharma have been working to develop technology that can assist the visually impaired with finding their way. Their shoe is set to launch at the end of July 2015.

Lechal is the world’s first haptic footwear, and the design relies on interactive touch-technology to function. The shoe is connected to an app via Bluetooth and sends vibrations through the foot to guide the wearer, turn-by-turn, along a chosen route. The Lechal technology will also be available as an insole, turning any normal shoe into a smart shoe.

Navigation is supported offline and also works when using alternative modes of transport. The wearer can customise routes: they can tag favourite locations, share them with others or link up with friends’ routes. As a fitness device, the smart shoe performs all the regular functions of an activity monitor and can also set the wearer’s pace through its vibrations.

For the visually impaired, Lechal footwear provides a hands-free navigation experience that can be controlled through foot gestures and voice commands. Ducere Technology has partnered with the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each pair of Lechal footwear will go towards a pair for someone who is visually impaired.