It seems like everyone has a fitness tracker these days: it’s become the new Livestrong bracelet except it actually does something.
Still, they’re not entirely accurate and they definitely don’t help you navigate cities. Instead, meet Lechal, a company making smart insoles that track your activity and help you find your way.
The Lechal insoles fit into any closed shoe and sync with an app on your phone. Interestingly, they’re fitted with technology that vibrates to alert you to a variety of things. For example, the insoles accurately track your steps, distance walked/run/danced/moved, and calories burned. You don’t even need to bring your phone– they will automatically transfer the data when you’re back within range of your device. Or set goals for steps or distance and your clever insoles will buzz when you’ve hit the pre-set benchmark. It works seamlessly with Google Fit and Apple Health and you can even compete with others wearing the Lechal tech.
But perhaps one of the coolest things these insoles can do is help you find your way. Imagine never looking lost again no matter how utterly flummoxed you are. Taking your new paramour on a date in a new part of town? No worries, program the location into the app’s map and small vibrations in your Lechal insoles will soundlessly tell you where to go– a little buzz in your left foot tells you to take the next left– you get the idea. If Lewis and Clark had these Sacagawea would’ve been out of a job.
This technology is especially helpful when travelling abroad. Even if you aren’t wearing the uniform beloved by tourists the world over, shockingly white sneakers and cargo capris, looking lost with a map in front of your face tends to give it away. The secret-almost-spy-like insole navigation works even if you’re not online.
Initially designed to be a new way for the visually impaired to navigate the world, but it didn’t take the company long to realize this idea would appeal to people across the board. The insoles’ battery is rechargeable, lasting an astounding 15 days. The insoles are easily trimmed for the perfect shoe fit, are coated in an anti-bacterial material, and are water resistant. They also offer a version that clip onto your laces if you’d rather not use insoles.
They may take a minute to get used to, but these smart insoles keep you moving in exactly the right direction.