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Smart shoes navigate with good vibrations

Saturday - 4/5/2014, 12:21pm  ET

WASHINGTON - Bad with directions? There's a shoe for that.

The smart shoe from Lechal, which means "take me there" in Hindi, has built-in sensors that get you to your destination by vibrating. If you are approaching your destination on the right, the vibration starts on your right foot. The duration of the vibrations are longer when you come to your turn.

"I believe that technology should be integrated into your life without the hassle of it being a devise," Lechal co-founder Krispian Lawrence tells WTOP.

Lawrence, who lives in India but went to school and worked in the United States, created the company with his friend Anirudh Sharma.

Originally slated to help the visually impaired be more mobile, the shoe soon developed other fans. Athletes are able to count calories and distance traveled. Bikers can set a route without having to stop to look at their phones. And tourists, who want to look like natives while exploring a new city without a map in their hand, can find the shoes helpful.

"You just set a destination on your phone and start walking. If you need to take a right, you will get a vibration on your right foot," says Lawrence.

Two products are available from Lechal: shoes and insoles. They cost about $100 per pair. New styles should be introduced soon. Lawrence says the products are only available by pre-order from the website at this time.

Despite being a new company, Lawrence says they have already established a charitable arm. For every shoe ordered through the mainstream market, they will donate a pair to shoes to reputable eye institutes around the world.

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