A specialized shoe insole that vibrates when wearers are supposed to make a turn is due to ship out soon and its inventors predict it will be a gamechanger in more than one market. Lechal, which means “let’s go” in Hindi, will deliver thousands of insoles and customized sneakers to the visually impaired, as well as to runners and other athletes.
Designed by MIT grad Anirudh Sharma, Lechal provides subtle feedback about where the wearer is going and in what direction. The shoes and insoles rely on Bluetooth technology to connect to a person’s smartphone, which then uses GPS to map out a route. The shoes will vibrate on whatever side the wearer needs to turn, and the vibrations become more intense the closer the wearer gets to the destination. Fitness fanatics can track goals, calories burned and steps taken, much like a FitBit or Jawbone, while the visually impaired can rely on the “eye-free interface” to get around.