Indian scientist makes Bluetooth shoes for the blind
Lives of over 285 million people across the globe who suffer from visual impairmentblind may soon change if Anirudh Sharma, a 24-year-old Indian computer engineer has his way.
Sharma, who is from Hyderabad, a city in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, has come up with an innovation, dubbed “Le Chal” ("take me along" in Hindi), to aid the blind people’s movement.
He has successfully invented the pairing of a smartphone app with a small actuator sewn inside the sole of one shoe via Bluetooth to aid blind people’s movement, The Economist has said.
According to reports, before now, the tools to assist the blind in walking have changed little since the 1920s, when their canes started being painted white to make other pedestrians more aware of their presence.
The gizmos that do exist have tended to be expensive and clunky, and have not caught on.
The user tells the phone his desired destination, which is translated into electronic commands using voice-recognition software.
The app, which can be programmed to run in the background, fetches the local map of the area.
The phone’s Global Positioning System (GPS) tracks the person’s location in real-time, telling the actuator to vibrate when it is time to turn.
The side of the shoe where the vibration is felt indicates which way to go.
Mr Sharma opted for a vibrating signal because for the blind, who rely on their sense of hearing to make sense of the environment, audio feedback is a distraction.
The system does not require constant Internet access.
Once downloaded, maps can be stored locally and combined with GPS data.
The app uses Open Street Maps (OSM), an open-source rival to Google Maps.
OSM allows editing, a helpful feature in updating rapidly changing urban landscapes. A speed-dial function can rapidly retrieve the most frequently visited routes.
The shoe pod is also equipped with an obstacle-detection mechanism.Share
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