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Input Devices Transportation Hardware Technology

Lechal Haptic Footwear Guides You By Buzzing Your Feet 26

Zothecula writes "Three years ago, we heard about a prototype shoe that could be used to guide the wearer via haptic feedback. Designed by Anirudh Sharma, who was then a researcher at Hewlett-Packard Labs in Bangalore, India, the Lechal shoe was intended for use mainly by the blind. This week, however, Sharma and business partner Krispian Lawrence announced that the production version of the Lechal will soon be available for preorder, and it's aimed at helping all people navigate the city streets." Sensor-laden shoe computers aren't a new idea; in the past, they've just been put to different purposes (PDF).
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Lechal Haptic Footwear Guides You By Buzzing Your Feet

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  • Linked to a lidar system so I can feel what is behind me.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    My wife tells me where to go all the time. I don't need my shoes doing it...
    • I used to use a male voice on the GPS in my car because the female voices reminded me too much of my wife telling me where to go. That was when I was using an aftermarket Garmin unit. My current vehicle has built in GPS and unfortunately has only one female voice. Fortunately, it is a relatively pleasant voice, not exactly pillow-talky, but acceptable, and it never gets upset because I missed a turn.

  • by khasim ( 1285 ) <> on Sunday February 23, 2014 @03:15AM (#46314695)

    Lister: Sometimes, I think it's cruel giving machines a personality. My mate Petersen once bought a pair of shoes with Artificial Intelligence. 'Smart Shoes' they were called. It was a neat idea. No matter how blind drunk you were, they could always get you home. But he got rattled one night in Oslo and woke up the next morning in Burma. You see, his shoes got bored going from his local to his flat. They wanted to see the world, you know. He had a hell of a job getting rid of them. No matter who he sold them to, they'd show up again the next day. He tried to shut them out, but they just kicked the door down.
    Rimmer: Is this true?
    Lister: Yeah. The last thing I heard, they sort of... robbed a car and drove it into a canal. They couldn't steer, you see.
    Rimmer: Really?
    Lister: Yeah. Petersen was really, really blown away about it. He went to see a priest. The priest told him... he said it was alright and all that, when shoes are happy that they'd get into heaven. You see, it turns out shoes have 'soles'.
    Rimmer: Ah, what a sad story. Wait a minute.
    [Thinks for a minute]
    Rimmer: How did they open the car door?

    • Not really related to the subject, but a similarly strange/amusing story from Naked Lunch:
      Did I ever tell you about the man who taught his asshole to talk? His whole abdomen would move up and down you dig farting out the words. It was unlike anything I had ever heard. This asshole talk had sort of a gut frequency. It hit you right down there like you gotta go. You know when the old colon gives you the elbow and it feels sorta cold inside, and you know all you have to do is turn loose? Well this talking hit

      • by PJ6 ( 1151747 )
        Back in high school, someone at our table in the caf would read a single, random page out of The Naked Lunch while we ate.

        I heard that particular page read just after the infamous fetal pig intestine fight in biology.

        That was an awesome, fucked up day.
  • but would it buzz you to death or just lead you into traffic?

  • by elucido ( 870205 ) on Sunday February 23, 2014 @04:54AM (#46314903)

    Because I can't see these kinds of shoes being the type we could wear on airplanes.

"An organization dries up if you don't challenge it with growth." -- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments