The other day I wrote about Tommy Edison, the blind film critic. Edison has been blind since birth and hosts a video series called the Tommy Edison Experience that details how he navigates the complexities of life. His life could be made a lot easier if this concept of a smartphone-connected shoe from Anirudh Sharma became reality.
In this system, the shoe would receive input from a GPS-enabled Android smartphone which is controlled via voice commands. As the person nears an intersection, the shoe’s actuators will vibrate with increasing intensity. If the individual needs to go left, the left side will buzz and if they need to go right, the rich side will buzz. This idea was conceived by IT engineer Anirudh Sharma, who hails from Hewlett-Packard Labs. The first prototype is called haptic shoe Le Chai (Hindi for “take me there”) and was created during an MIT Media Lab Workshop at COEP.
Sharma talks about his background and this shoe technology at a recent TEDx gathering. You can view his 17-minute video below.