Navigation apps are super helpful, but you either have to keep your eyes glued to your phone or listen to mechanical-sounding prompts.
Well a company in India is about to change things for walkers, runners, cyclists, and even tourists. Ducere Technologies has developed Lechal “smart shoes” (insoles, really) that connect via Bluetooth to a smartphone app and sync to Google Maps. You just tell the app where you want to go and the insoles will vibrate in either the left or right heel when you need to turn. The shoes also track your footsteps and calculate calories burned. Watch the video above to see how Lechal smart shoes work.
In Hindi, Lechal means “take me along” and developers say they originally designed the shoes as a tool for people who are visually impaired before realizing others would find them useful.
Ducere is the first company to introduce footwear with haptic technology—that is, feedback via touch—and they have 24 international and Indian patents for the shoes, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Lechal insoles are compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows operating systems. They will retail for $100 ($150 for insoles plus shoes) and they’re available for preorder at lechal.com.