Le Chal : Haptics Shoe For The Visually Impaired
This time, Innovations came from a researcher from Hewlett-Packard Labs in Bangalore, India named Anirudh Sharma, he developed Le Chal, a shoe with haptics technology that can guide the visually impaired to the desired destination with the vibration, which comes from the front, rear or both sides of the shoe.
Which users need to start is Le Chal shoes and mobile phones equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS). after the user enters a destination on the phone then the Lilypad Arduino circuit board located in the heel shoes and mobile phones will communicate via bluetooth. Next, user will be guided to the destination with vibration indicators, vibration on the front indicates that they should keep going straight, a vibration on the left side means that they should turn left, and so on. When you start moving, vibrations will start out low, but as soon as users increasingly approaching the point where they must turn around, the vibrations will increase. Le Chal Haptic Shoe also equipped with a proximity sensor on the front that serves to warn the user if there are obstacles (can detect up to 3 meters).
Actually this Haptic shoes are design to help the visually impaired to be more stylish, and without making them wear bulky stuff and look awkward on the road, but hey, if you are a magician, maybe you can also use these shoes to do the trick.
For now, there is no information about when Le Chal will hit the market, but Anirudh Sharma plans to release the code for the android app and the schematics for the shoe to public via Arduino community channel and he also plans to create Do It Yourself (DIY) guide on Wikipedia so that users can participate in the development of Le Chal