Austrian computer scientists have created a smart shoe that helps blind and visually impaired people by sending vibrations to the wearer to avoid multiple obstacles.
This product is known as InnoMake, developed by the Austrian company Tec-Innovation and backed by Graz University of Technology (TU Graz).
The product is worth $3,840 (€3,200) a pair, which contains waterproof ultrasonic sensors attached at the tip of each shoe. Whenever it encounters obstacles, the sensors will send vibrations or will make noises to signal the wearer, just like a parking sensor at the back of a vehicle.
The smart shoe can detect potential obstacles located up to 13 feet (4 meters) in front of the person. It sends a signal to the wearer via a haptic feedback system that will make the shoe buzz, and an audible alert is sounded in the smartphone connected via Bluetooth.
Moreover, the smart shoe has LEDs on each sensor that flashes whenever there is an obstacle ahead. It was designed specifically to help blind and visually impaired wearers to navigate places while avoiding obstacles.
Scientists are making a version of the shoe's removable sensor module wherein an output camera is added, which is powered by artificial intelligence (AI).