Lechal

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Lechal
Lechal 01.png
Category Limb-mounted
Developer Ducere Technologies Pvt. Ltd. [1][2]
Announced 2 November 2011 [3]
Released Developers:
Consumers: September 2014 [4]
Price 160 USD [5] (June 2016)
Operating system none (pairs with Android or iOS)
Sensors

none

Weight 22 g [6]
Controls

smartphone

Data available Good
Risk factor Low
Not Standalone
http://www.lechal.com

Lechal are Bluetooth-enabled insoles developed by an Indian company Ducere Technologies Pvt. Ltd. The insoles pair wirelessly with the user's smartphone and based on the GPS data provided can offer directional guidance in the form of vibrations. If the set GPS route requires the user to turn left, the left Lechal insole with vibrate which informs the user they should take left. The company originally developed the device to be used by visually impaired persons, but later expanded to regular users. The technology gives users directions without the need to use their smartphones to look up the map.

In addition to the Pods, Lechal offers shoes, insoles, docking station , and a workout mobile app for Android and iOS.

Main Characteristics

Lechal Shoes - Custom footwear created exclusively for the inclusion of Lechal Pods

The insoles utilize small wireless, battery-powered devices called "Pods". These are steel encased vibration motors and inertial sensors that are attached to Lechal shoes or inserted into insoles. After pairing the Pods with a smartphone through Bluetooth 4.0, they offer vibrational feedback based on the GPS directions received from the device. The Pods can be charged via Lechal's docking stations.[7]

Purpose

Lechal Pods

The purpose of the device is to give directions via vibrational-feedback. This leaves the user's hands free and liberates them from looking at a map.

Company & People

Lechal is developed by an Indian company Ducere Technologies Pvt. Ltd. that is based in Secunderabad, India.[8] The company was established in 2011.[9]

  • Krispian Lawrence - Co-founder & CEO
  • Anirudh Sharma - Co-founder & CTO

Important Dates

  • 2011 - Ducere Technologies was established.[10]
  • 2 November 2011 - Lechal announced.[3]
  • September 2014 - Lechal was released.[4]

Enhancement/Therapy/Treatment

Enhancement - Lechal expands user's cognition by providing discreet way of showing directions.

Ethical & Health Issues

we are not aware of any ethical or health issues connected to this particular device.

Public & Media Impact and Presentation

While we found no review for Lechal, there are some news pieces that we analysed for any preliminary appraisal of the device.

Gizmag technology magazine informed about the device in February 2014.[11] The article summarises the key points about the device but gives no appraisal. The PSFK magazine also informs about the features but further states that the device may be a "dramatic improvement (for) disabled people" and expands on the possibilities of the device with saying that the "users can tag destinations by tapping their feet, share their route with friends, set fitness milestones and track their daily activity. They are a wearable that can be used by anyone but which includes features which make them accessible to the visually impaired." There is no specific appraisal given, but the tone of the article seems positive.[12]

APN News website informs about the launch of the device. The piece describes the device idea briefly and then mentions the Lechal initiative. The initiative means that every purchase of the Lechal Special Edition subsides a pair of Lechal shoes for the visually impaired. The initiative is done in cooperation with the L V Prasad Eye Institute. The article describes the device as user-friendly and praises the hands-free nature of it.[3]

Xing Magazine run an interviews with the co-founder Krispian Lawrence in January 2016. Mr. Lawrence said that he did not want Lechal to be seen as a wearable product first, because there was already too many wearables on the market. He also expressed that the company was overwhelmed by the amount of pre-orders the company received[13]

http://www.gizmodo.in/indiamodo/The-Vibrating-Smartshoes-To-Help-You-Get-Around/articleshow/40096545.cms

http://www.cnet.com/news/bluetooth-smart-shoes-vibrate-you-in-the-right-direction/

More news http://lechal.com/press.html

Public Policy

We are not aware of any policy that is regulating or is otherwise relevant to this device in particular.

Related Technologies, Projects, or Scientific Research

References

  1. http://www.lechal.com/about.html
  2. https://www.duceretech.com/ducere/aboutus.html
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 http://www.apnnews.com/2014/02/11/ducere-technologies-launches-lechal-worlds-first-interactive-haptic-based-footwear/
  4. 4.0 4.1 http://www.businessinsider.com/lechal-smart-shoes-2014-7
  5. https://store.lechal.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=61&product_id=99
  6. http://www.lechal.com/technology.html
  7. http://www.lechal.com/technology.html
  8. https://www.duceretech.com/ducere/contact.html
  9. https://www.duceretech.com/ducere/aboutus.html
  10. https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/ducere
  11. http://www.gizmag.com/lechal-haptic-feedback-navigation-shoes/30939/
  12. http://www.psfk.com/2014/07/indian-footwear-lechal-visually-impaired.html
  13. http://xingmagazine.com/technology-wearable-tech-if-a-solution-is-not-crazy-it-does-not-excite-me-krispian-lawrence/