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LECHAL: haptic feedback based navigation shoe (for the blind)

2 US patents pending.

Le-chal has evolved as a full-fledged lifestyle product now. For the latest developments on le-Chal please visit Ducere Technolgies.

Lechal was started in 2010 with a simple sketch and an Arduino prototype. This made me quit my job at HP Labs, which HP mentioned.

After 6 months of initial demos and testing I started Ducere Technologies – with Krispian when we were introduced by a visually impaired test subject.

Le Chal: Haptic Shoe for the visually impaired by greendawnhaze

It was started as a navigation aid for the visually impaired. 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. Also, such devices are prohibitively expensive to buy.

Lechal initial prototypes got MIT TR35 Award.

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.

Visually impaired students with early LeChal prototype at TechShare 2011

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