Best foot forward: How new 'Satnav' shoes will help you find your way home
A new gadget you can wear in your shoes uses a Bluetooth link to connect to the mapping system on your mobile phone, sending discreet vibrations to your feet telling you which way to go
Published 14/04/2014 | 09:20
The days of trying to decipher a map on your mobile phone when you're lost may soon be at an end thanks to a new pair of shoes that tell you which way to walk.
The 'satnav' footwear uses a Bluetooth link to connect to the mapping system on your mobile phone, calculating which route you should take and sending discreet vibrations to your feet telling you when you need to turn.
For €120, the technology, called Lechal, comes either ready-fitted in a Ferrari-red shoe or as an insole that can be inserted into any shoe.
The Lechal shoes can last around three days before they need charging.
"They are as easy to use as a tap on the shoulder," Krispian Lawrence, 30, who developed the shoes with Anirudh Sharma, 28, in Hyderabad, India, said
"It's that intuitive - if someone taps you on the left shoulder, you immediately turn left. This product harnesses that basic instinct.
"You can even communicate with them using hand gestures and finger snaps because the shoes have sensors that can pick up movement and sound. You can also tell them how many calories you want to burn and they'll plot the perfect run or cycle."
However, others are less impressed by the technology. When told about the shoes, Sir Ranulph Fiennes asked: "What's wrong with a good old-fashioned map?"
He added: "If you rely too heavily on technology you're heading for trouble. Too many people have forgotten - or never learned - the basics: how to read a map and a compass."