It can be hard to read directions from Google Maps on your smartphone in full sunlight. It’s also distracting and prevents you from truly engaging with your surroundings. Even though smartwatches offer up directions right on your wrist, they too can be hard to read in the sun and get in the way of exploring a new city. Wouldn’t it be nice to just know exactly where to turn at any given moment?
An Indian company called Ducere Technologies Pvt. has created Lechal, a smart shoe that vibrates when you need to make a turn. The Bluetooth-enabled shoes sync up with Here Maps to give you accurate directions without any distractions. If you need to turn left, your left foot will buzz and when you need to turn right, your right foot will vibrate. It’s that simple.
Once you download the app from the iOS App Store or the Android Google Play Store, you simply pair the shoes via Bluetooth, select your destination, and go. The shoes use your smartphone’s GPS to choose the best route for you. The company says that Lechal means “take me along” in Hindi, so that’s exactly what the smart shoes do.
Since the shoes know your location, they can also send images and descriptions of nearby landmarks to your smartphone. If you want to know the name of that beautiful gothic cathedral in front of you, you can pull out your smartphone and find out all about it in the companion app.
In addition to offering hands-free directions and pointing out cool attractions in the area, Lechal also counts the number of steps you’ve taken and how many calories you’ve burned during your expedition. All of this info is sent to the app, so you can track your progress.
The Lechal smart shoes will cost between $100 and $150 when they arrive in stores this September. So far, only two colors are available: red or black. The company will also offer insoles with the same technology for those who want to put them in different pairs of shoes. Both products are already available for pre-order on the website and ship internationally.