Le Chal: A haptic feedback based shoe for the blind (by Anirudh Sharma)
Navigation aid inside footware to aid the visually impaired - ‘Le Chal’ is Hindi for ‘Take Me There’:
At present people with limited or no vision depend either on walking canes, which help them detect obstructions, or seek help from friends and other people for assistance, or using voice-based navigation aids. The existing form of voice-based navigation aids can be very distracting for the blind as they mostly depend on their sense of hearing. Such devices are prohibitively expensive to buy too.
Le-Chal is way finding aid for the visually impaired that uses a language of vibrations, complementing their natural adaptations and extends their limitations.
The unobtrusive design of Le Chal is its most significant feature. The system comprises of a mechanism that condenses complex geographical navigational information and lets the user feel the directional and proximity information through vibrations. The vibrators and proximity sensor put in one shoe of the pair enables the user to walk without any physical aid.
More information, including documents and videos, can be found at Anirudh Sharma’s site here