The worst thing about walking around while trying to follow directions is that you have to keep looking down at them to get the next turn. At best, you’ll miss out on the scenery; at worst, you might walk into traffic.
Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to look down? Yes it would, and with Walkity, there’s no need to look down. Walkity is a set of cuffs that slip on the backs of your shoes, pairs with your phone, and uses haptic feedback to tell you where to go. Each one has an Arduino Mini Pro, an NRF24L01 to talk to its mate, a Bluetooth module, a vibration motor, and what must be the thinnest, most flexible LiPo currently available on Earth. The specified cell is PGEB0083559, a 65 mAH cell that is 0.8 mm thick!
Your smartphone will vibrate in your pocket during naviation but our experience has been that of still not knowing which way to turn. Walkity’s feedback is simple and intuitive. The left cuff vibrates to indicate a left turn, right for right, and both vibrate when you reach your destination. Going the wrong way? Walkity will vibrate vigorously to let you know it’s time to pull over. It’s a great example of a an entry for the Human Computer Interface Challenge of the Hackaday Prize!
We often see haptic feedback used for navigation, but it can also be used to teach new skills.
15 thoughts on “Shoes That Tell You Where To Go”
Neat. http://www.lechal.com/ has been around a while now with a full integration w/ app and health tracking. The concept is definitely cool in terms of helping visually impaired people navigate easier.
I invented Lechal :) 7 years ago.
Sorry, Anirudh – but Lechal was just a rip-off of Bhatka Bhatka (2009) – we had even met, and you even acknowledged knowing of it :)
True Fan of LeChal. Would love inputs from you on futuristic developments @anirudh
Cool, I might want to mod this a little and put it in my motorycle boots, or maybe switch the haptics for some visual indicators inside my helmet. I’m looking forward to seeing how they do the phone connectivity.
How about a headband with 30 contacts across your forehead that form a “tactile display” with the activation sequence inducing gesture like sensations on your skin?
was thinking about this to (motorcycle use), but i suppose the simplest signaling would be to have two leds in my motorcycle helmet for left and right turns. Vibration from devices (eg. my applewatch) tends to gets lost in the overall dynamics that come with riding a bike ;)
Nass mod. We will be updating our GitHub ASAP. Please keep us posted on your mod.
real life Ruby Slippers!
“SHOES THAT TELL YOU WHERE TO GO”
My two left feet will just confuse it.
This has been done before, and the important feature seems to be that the shoes can still return “home” without a phone, using some undescribed localisation/mapping technology (I don’t see GPS or enough sensors for inertial navigation). That’s also what the direct data link seems to be required for (otherwise BLE would suffice).
Last commit to the GitHub repository was 30 days ago, BTW.
Apologies. we will be updating our GitHub repo as soon as possible.
As far as SLAM is concerned. We will be updating any extra sensors we use ASAP.
LISTER: He still feels. In fact, sometimes i think it’s cruel giving
machines a personality. My mate Petersen once brought a pair of shoes
with artificial intelligence. Smart Shoes, they were called. It was a
neat idea. No matter how blind drunk you were, they would always get
you home. Then he got ratted one night in Oslo, and woke up the next
morning in Burma. See, the shoes got bored just going from his local
to the flat. They wanted to see the world, man, y’know? He had a
helluva job getting rid of them. No matter who he sold them to, they’d
show up again the next day! He tried to shut them out, but they just
kicked the door down, y’know?
RIMMER: Is this true?
LISTER: Yeah! Last thing he heard, they’d sort of, erm, robbed a car and
drove it into a canal. They couldn’t steer, y’see.
LISTER: Yeah. Petersen was really, really blown away by it. He went to
see a preist. The preist told him, he said, it was alright, and all
that, and the shoes were happy, and they’d gone to heaven. Y’see, it
turns out shoes have soles.
what must be the thinnest, most flexible LiPo currently available on Earth
PGEB0083559 0.8 x 35 x 59 mm
way to fact check HAD!
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