Sunday, 18 December 2011

Android-Powered Shoes for the visually impaired!


Enter Le Chal (“Take me there’ in Hindi), the Android-powered shoes that offer unobtrusive navigation for the visually impaired!


In a path breaking innovation, Anirudh Sharma, an IT engineer from Rajasthan Technical University has designed these unique shoes, which are connected to an Android device that helps navigate those using Google Maps and the phone’s in-built GPS.

Anirudh’s brainchild was showcased at the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Media Lab Design and Innovation Workshop 2011.

Le Chal is equipped with vibrators, proximity sensors and a Bluetooth pad, which is connected to an Android device. The Android phone figures out directions and real time location using Google Maps and the phones inbuilt GPS and compass module. To use the shoes, the user needs to voice the end location, before starting the journey. The Android app then works on defining the route map, calculating turn by turn directions, which are sent to shoe via Bluetooth, mentions a report. Then different vibrators positioned in the shoes are activated to give feedback to the user, depending on the turn she or he needs to take. In short, the Technology turns navigation data into haptic feedback.

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