The blind and visually impaired do have one huge disadvantage – they are unable to see just where they are going without help from a walking cane, but thanks to the advent of modern technology as well as the hard work of Anirudh Sharma, a student of Informatics Engineering at the Rajasthan Technical University, he managed to cobble together this pair of Le Chal shoes. Fusing art, design and technology into a pair of walking devices, the Le Chal intends to create interactive physical experiences.
Le Chal (Hindi for ‘Take Along’) works in this simple manner – it will obtain one’s GPS position from an Android-powered smartphone which will then be transmitted over to the shoe’s embedded vibration motors, delivering a gentle, vibrating indication at the front, back, left and right side of the foot, letting the wearer know just where he or she should go. This means whatever Google Maps shows, the shoe will follow, so hopefully the team at Google Maps will have mapped everything out correctly. The heel of the shoe comes with an integrated LilyPad that will in turn activate the quartet of small vibrators in the shoe. Anirudh Sharma claims that to upgrade a shoe with his navigation design, it will cost approximately $20 a pop. Now that’s progress!