Austrian company Tec-Innovation has collaborated with Austria’s Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) to design an intelligent shoe called “InnoMake.” This shoe is designed to help the blind, visually impaired, and elderly conveniently and safely navigate their everyday lives.
The shoe is decked out with a built-in warning system and battery, which are mounted to the front of the shoe in a waterproof and dust-resistant casing. The battery can last for up to one week, depending on how much they are used, and can be fully recharged within three hours. The entire setup includes:
- Distance sensors
- Sensors for detecting foot movements
- A vibration unit
- An ultra-bright LED
- A processing unit
- A wireless connection to a smartphone
When the shoe detects obstacles located up to four meters in the path of the wearer, the wearer is alerted through acoustic, visual, or vibrational signals. The shoe’s LED light is designed to transmit visual impulses and can help light the way in the dark. The shoe will also vibrate so that the user can feel when an obstacle is coming up. Finally, the acoustic feedback is provided by a smartphone.
The next step for the InnoMake intelligent shoe is to develop a camera-based AI image recognition version. This version will require scientists to develop deep-learning algorithms that analyze the camera images to identify areas that are safe for walking.
The team will also collect data while wearing the shoe to funnel this intelligence into a street view navigation map for people who are blind or visually impaired.
Source Image: Tec-Innovation