Complete mobility for the visually impaired…

Being visually impaired does make you an outcast as you are not able to see what is happening around the world and you become dependent on what you hear from others and see the world through someone else’s eyes. You walk the path told by others. But not every time people will be there to help you guide, you make choices for which you can never be sure will lead you in the right direction. You trust your instincts and believe your gut in those situations. But there are people who think that these kinds of hardships must be tackled and a life worth living should be given to everyone.

According to TOI, India has the world’s largest number of visually impaired people. Statistics shows that out of 37 million visually impaired people around the globe, 15 million are from India. India needs 2.5 lakhs of donated eyes every year, while the county’s 109 eye banks could able to manage only 25,000 eyes at maximum, out of which 30% of them can’t be used due to some other reasons [3]. So, there is mismatch between the number of required and donated eyes. This calls for attention about those people who don’t get any donor for eye replacement. Anirudh Sharma, a Delhi boy, with his friend Krispian Lawrence has designed a shoe that can assist the visually impaired in navigating easily from one place to another. Fascinated with experimentation, one night he installed a vibrator in his friend’s shoe out of curiosity that led to the invention of Le chal. The technology uses a smartphone device and Bluetooth to transmit the information about the path in the shoe that gives haptic feedback to the visually impaired person according to the destination.

“I wondered about the daily tribulations of the visually impaired people and thought how difficult it must be for them to do things as basic as walking. That is when I decided to come back to India and launch Le Chal,” says Sharma. [4]

The shoes are integrated with a vibrator, a chip and a removable and rechargeable battery for a longer life. The shoes have a very simple information system of indicating the user about the turns along the destination through haptic feedback of vibration, right shoe vibration for right turn and left shoe vibration for left turns. While designing the shoe, one of the main points that was kept in mind is the cool look of the product that does not sturdy or massive rather has a cool stylish which is also a selling point.

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