What if in order to quantify ourselves, we used something that feels natural for us, instead of strapping annoying smartwatches or bands to our wrists? Smart footwear does not add any extra weight, but has all the functionality you would expect from a fitness tracker.
A lot of beautifully-designed (not to mention innovative) things are coming these days from China and India, in an attempt to prove that there are plenty of talented designers and inventors beyond Scandinavia. One of the latest examples is the Bluetooth-enabled smart footwear created by Indian startup Ducere Technologies Pvt. Lechal, as these shoes are called, sync with a smartphone app in order to point the wearer in the right direction. On top of that, these smart shoes also act as a fitness tracker.
Lechal co-founder Krispian Lawrence explained that “The shoes are a natural extension of the human body. You will leave your house without your watch or wristband, but you will never leave your house without your shoes.” I couldn’t agree more!
The direction is pointed out with the help of vibrations that are enabled in the right or the left shoe, depending on where the runner should be headed next. How do the shoes know the right path? The smartphone app they sync with is based on Google Maps, so assuming that you have a data plan, Lechal will know which way is home. The developers admit that these smart shoes were initially developed for visually-impaired people, so that they know how to reach a specific destination. In the meantime, however, the company changed its target audience from this category to people who enjoy jogging or even sprinting. I’d say that the design of these smart shoes make them more appropriate for such activities, but that doesn’t mean that the blind couldn’t benefit from their advantages.
This Bluetooth-enabled footwear also doubles as a fitness tracker. In other words, the shoes can calculate the covered distance and the burned calories. Besides that, what better way to count steps than a shoe? Assuming they pack the necessary sensors, Lechal shoes could be the perfect pedometer.
If the developers keep their promise and launch these smart shoes in September at under $100, they will definitely be a hit among people who love sports.