Lechal, the brainchild of Anirudh Sharma and Krispian Lawrence of the Secunderabad-based Ducere Technologies, is an interactive haptic footwear product, available as a pair of shoes or as insoles. Once you don the Lechal shoes, or place the insoles in your own pair of shoes, they turn into a wearable navigation device and a fitness tracker. Lechal, which translates as ‘take me there’ in Hindi, is the first of the wearable pieces of technology that the company has introduced. The developers have plans to delve deeper into this space with the aim of delivering the ultimate user experience through innovative products.
An app (compatible with Android, iOS and Windows), downloadable on your smartphone, pairs with the Lechal footwear product via Bluetooth. Using the app, you’ll not only be able to count the number of steps walked, but you can also track your calories burnt. The app also offers options to set goals and custom workout sessions.
However, the real beauty of Lechal that sets it apart from other pieces of wearable technology is its ability to act as a navigational device. On setting a destination using the Lechal smartphone app, the shoes guide the person wearing them from their current location to their designated destination. It does this by letting the user know where and when to turn by causing either the left shoe to vibrate or buzz when a left turn is indicated, or the right shoe for a right turn.
Lechal was initially designed to help the visually challenged with mobility. The developers have decided that the higher the sales of the product, the more subsidised the cost of the shoes would be for a visually-challenged person.
The Lechal product pack includes a pair of footwear (insoles or shoes), a charger and a downloadable app. Both the shoes and the insoles—the latter fits into almost every shoe—are antibacterial, and washable once the battery is removed. At ₹6,118 for a pair of shoes that offers much more than just being a superficial fashion item, Lechal is definitely worth a buy. More importantly, you’ll help make this product more accessible to the visually challenged, the main reason for which it was invented.
Written By : Beverly Pereira