Taking wearable technology to the next level, a new product which fits inside the shoe will help lost joggers get back on track.
Called ‘Satnav’ footwear, the company has come up with a Bluetooth linked in–sole system that pairs with the wearer’s smartphone and offers discreet guidance. The makers claim that the days of trying to decipher a map on one’s mobile phone when you’re lost are soon coming to an end thanks to a new pair of shoes that tell you which way to walk.
The satnav footwear comes in two iterations. For about £100 ($165) the technology, called Lechal, comes either ready-fitted in a shoe or as an insole that can be inserted into any shoe. Ferrari has already come up with its trademark red running shoe that has the technology built–in and ready–to–go, reported the Telegraph.
Developed by Krispian Lawrence and Anirudh Sharma in Hyderabad India, the Lechal technology is akin to someone mildly showing you the way. “They are as easy to use as a tap on the shoulder. It’s that intuitive – if someone taps you on the left shoulder, you immediately turn left. This product harnesses that basic instinct.” said Krispian.
Shoes that offer guidance are not that a new technology. Way back in 2009 the same company tried to introduce shoes that had multiple components built into it. In fact, earlier iterations even had independent GPS assisted tracking chip that offered audio cues as well as visual indicators via bright LEDs to the wearer about the right direction to take. However, so much technology meant the shoes had to be powered by bulky AA batteries, which lasted just 2.5 hours.
The newer system runs on rechargeable batteries that need to be charged just once and are said to last for 3 whole days before needing to be juiced up again. Additionally, the system doesn’t have a GPS chip, relying instead on the smartphone, thereby curtailing the energy requirements and reducing the weight.
If that’s not all, the satnav shoes can also be communicated with, using hand gestures and finger snaps because the shoes have sensors that can pick up movement and sound. For fitness enthusiasts, the shoes can tell the wearer an optimum course for the intended calorie–burn.
Wearable technology is perhaps the next big thing and companies like Google, Samsung, Apple and others are aggressively exploring options. But the satnav shoes could offer a certain level of confidence while venturing on that unknown trail through the jungle. However, the phone needs to be able to latch on to the GPS for the wearer to come back safely.
[Images via Bing]