Shoes

The futuristic smart shoe

If you came here hoping to find a piece on some new brogues or loafers, prepare to be disappointed. These are smart shoes, but not in the formal sense.

Rather than bolting yet more brains to your watch or glasses, Lechal is looking to make your shoe the most intelligent section of your wardrobe.

Hiding in the sole of this sleek-looking slip-on is an instep of unparalleled technology. The Lechal's insole communicates with its accompanying smart phone app via Bluetooth, supplying you with all the fitness metrics you'd expect of a smart watch: footsteps and distances are recorded, along with a record of the calories you've burnt while on-foot or bike.

So far, so normal. Where the shoes get really clever is in how they communicate with the wearer. By inputting a destination into Lechal's app, the shoes can direct you with simple haptic feedback: left foot vibrating? Take the next left turn. Both feet vibrating? You've reached your destination. Put the shoes in roam mode and allow them to take you to nearby landmarks or sites of interest. Are the insoles giving you a bizarre massage? They're trying to tell you you left your phone back at the café.

Also available as an insole to slip into your existing shoes with a battery pack built into the heel, Lechal are hoping to make a significant difference to the lives of partially sighted and blind people, helping them traverse urban centres with new freedom.

Currently available for pre-order, you can find out more on the Lechal website.