An Indian high-tech start-up, Ducere Technologies, has created the world’s first interactive haptic footwear. Christened as LeChal, these GPS-enabled smart sports shoes or insoles vibrate to give directions to the wearer .
The footwear uses Bluetooth technology to connect to the user’s smartphone. Using simple foot gestures or voice commands, the wearer can use it as a navigational tool or track their activity from a fitness perspective. The footwear communicates with the user via vibratory responses, making it a hands-free experience. The Lechal App syncs with Google Maps to allow you to navigate with ease wherever you are in the world.
LeChal is the brainchild of Krispian Lawrence and Anirudh Sharma, graduates of the University of Michigan and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, respectively. They started the Hyderabad-based company in 2011 with the aim of taking wearable technology to the people. Ducere’s mission and vision is perfectly encapsulated in its tagline– “Innovated In India.”
This tagline not only refers to our roots and ambitions, but also speaks to the company’s core, which is a focus on path-breaking design and engineering. Tinkerers and thinkers of all stripes and from all fields – industrial design, robotics, mechanical engineering, visual communications, computer engineering, ui/ux design, to name just a few – find a home at Ducere.
What began as an academic project aimed at harnessing haptic technology to aid the visually-challenged is now a fashion and lifestyle brand that specialises in disruptive innovations that smoothly integrate into the everyday. Haptic technology is a tactile feedback technology which recreates the sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions to the user.