Wednesday January 24, 2018
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Super Shoes: Step in your shoes and it will tell you where to Go

smrtGRiPS comes with a similar concept in which bicyclists get to know the directions using a special handlebar grip that connects to a device via Bluetooth

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easyjet supershoes. Image Source: Gizmag.com
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What if you’ve never been to a place and missing on the amazing views by just looking at the GPS navigation system on your smartphone? Fret no more, there is a super solution to this.

EasyJet, a European airline company is working on a concept named smart shoes. They named it “Sneakairs” in which the vibrations will be sent to to the wearer’s feet when it’s time to make a turn. This is one of the latest attempts at a tactile navigation tool.

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In a video published the company they have said that “Synchronize your shoes with your phone, choose your destination, put your phone away and enjoy the views”.

The mechanism of this shoe is quite simple. If one needs to make a right turn his right shoe will vibrate. Similarly, if he wants to go left then his left shoe will vibrate. More importantly, if someone has missed the turn, then both the shoes will vibrate twice. That will indicate that you need to go back and rectify your footsteps. Lastly if it vibrates 3 times that will mean that you have reached your destination.

This is built with a miniaturized Arduino clone (an open source hardware). It has a Bluetooth module along with a tiny motor which vibrates every time. Bluetooth helps in connecting this with your device.

This computer hardware fits into a smart shoe prototype called Sneakairs, unveiled recently by European airline easyJet. The shoes help walkers find their way around through directional vibrations. easyJet
This computer hardware fits into a smart shoe prototype called Sneakairs, unveiled recently by European airline easyJet. Image source: easyJet

Coming to the navigation system, it uses Google Maps API to create it’s on pedestrian navigation app. This GPS will run as the background process. So one easily put his/her phone away. No need to constantly look for the directions. However, no official date of release has been decided yet by the company.

This isn’t a new project. Several trials have been done in the past. Anirudh Sharma, a researcher in Banglore, India, designed a vibrating navigation device built into a shoe to help blind people. In 2014, Sharma along with his partner Krispian Lawrence announced that it’ll be available for every person. They named their shoes ‘Lachal‘.

Another researcher at the MIT named Dhairya Dand developed a similar concept called “SuperShoes”. Those were insoles that could be tucked into a regular pair of shoes . Dand said on his website “The shoes are based on a tickling interface, Left toe tickles – turn left, right toe tickles – turn right, no tickle – keep going, both tickle repeatedly – reached the destination, both tickle once – recommendation, both tickle twice – a reminder.”

Similar is the concept with smrtGRiPS in which bicyclists get to know the directions using a special handlebar grip that connects to a device via Bluetooth. The left grip will vibrate to turn left and so does the right grip when a right turn needs to be made.

We are living in a generation where haptic feedback isn’t enough. The Apple Watch has also a feature of haptic direction. With these new innovations one day we’ll get them in our feet, wrists and hands too .

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-by Pritam

Pritam is pursuing engineering and is an intern at NewsGram.Twitter handle: @pritam_gogreen

 

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  • Pritam Go Green

    Forget your GPS !!!
    Things will become more fun when you’ll get to know about these Super Shoes.
    Technology is going to takeover the whole world. Height of automation !!

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    This is a super cool invention. It can help people concentrate more on the environment around than the directions.

Next Story

‘Good morning’ messages are cluttering smartphones in India

According to Google, there has been a 10-fold rise in the number of searches for "Good Morning images."

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'Good Morning' messages clutter smartphones.
'Good Morning' messages clutter smartphones.
  • ‘Good Morning’ messages are the reason for cluttering of smartphones
  • These messages make smartphones run out of memory
  • Google is trying to weed these messages out

With millions of “good morning” texts, spiced with colourful images and even videos sent and received every morning across India, one in three smartphone user in India runs out of space daily, as compared to one in 10 in the US, the media reported.

According to Google, there has been a 10-fold rise in the number of searches for “Good Morning images” over the past five years.

'Good Morning' messages are eating out your smartphone's memory. Wikimedia Commons
‘Good Morning’ messages are eating out your smartphone’s memory. Wikimedia Commons

It is because Indians have a habit of sending millions of ‘good morning!’ texts along with sun-dappled flowers, adorable toddlers and birds to friends, family and strangers, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Inexpensive smartphones and data plans have brought an unlikely group of users online who begin their typical day — before sunrise and reaches a crescendo before 8 a.m. — by sending good morning greetings.

“We were trying to deconstruct what is the DNA of a good morning message for months. It’s been a lot of hard work to get it right,” Josh Woodward, the Google product manager in Mountain View, California, was quoted as telling the Wall Street Journal.

Also Read : India now the leading market of smartphones in Asia

Currently, there are nearly 400 million Internet users in India, along with over 300 million smartphone users and about 650 million mobile phone users.

The company used its giant image database and artificial intelligence tools to train the app to weed out good morning messages.

Google is trying to weed images with this message out. Pixabay
Google is trying to weed images with this message out. Pixabay

The key to spotting them was looking for a certain size and type of image file, Woodward said, adding that early versions were picking out photos of children wearing T-shirts with words on them.

To counter such storage problem, Google in December launched a new app called “Files Go” that will help free up space, find files faster and share files offline on smartphones that come with less internal storage.

Also Read : Top 5 smartphones trending in India in 2016

“The average ‘Files Go’ user is saving 1GB of space so they can do more on their phone. It was built for Android Go devices, but we’re also making it available on the Google Play Store,” the company said, at the launch of the product in New Delhi.

The app has more than 10 million downloads so far, with more users in India than any other country. It has cleared up on average more than 1 gigabyte of data per user, Google said. IANS