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Wearable Wayfinding Technology is All the Rage!

Posted by on Apr 26, 2014 in GPS, Tips for the Directionally Challenged, Wayfinding, wayfinding technology | 0 comments

Wearable Wayfinding Technology is All the Rage!

Two of the latest products inquiring (directionally challenged) minds want to know about: SuperShoes and Lechal Haptic Footwear.

SuperShoes are insoles that tickle your toes to help you find your way. According to an article in Gizmag by Nick Lavars, these silicone inserts (that you can slip into in “regular” shoes) contain “an onboard microcontroller, a Bluetooth low-energy chip, a capacitive pad under the big toe, and three vibrotactile motors placed underneath the smaller toes.” Sounds great, eh?

SuperShoes were invented by Dhairya Dand, a researcher at MIT’s Media Lab, who wanted to draw people’s eyes away from their smartphones as they use Google Maps or other wayfinding apps, and enable them instead to focus on their surroundings.

Once you register on ShoeCentral and do the necessary linking with your smartphone, SuperShoes can act as a simple navigation tool or even an alert system. And although you might get used to having a true tickler system, it’s sure to elicit smiles and even giggles as you explore your world.

Read more about it, see the photos, and video:

http://bit.ly/1ftCy3N

Hear about it on NPR’s Morning Edition:

http://n.pr/1fu7kcH

SuperShoes aren’t (yet) available for purchase, but here’s the buzz on another wayfinding-assisting shoe you can buy for ~$100. Like SuperShoes, the Lechal Haptic Shoe (or polyurethane insoles) communicates with your smartphone via Bluetooth and vibrates to indicate which way to turn.

To find out more, see:

http://bit.ly/1cQPiTM

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If you’re directionally challenged you need the award-winning book, Directional Sense: How to Find Your Way Around, by Janet R. Carpman and Myron A. Grant. www.directionalsense.com

 

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