I hate having my feet tickled, but I think in this case I can make an exception.
Whilst maps seem to be used less and less frequently when attempting to navigate around the city most individuals now use GPS on their smart phones to get to where they want to go. The only problem is you spend the whole journey gazing into your phone and missing everything passing you by, not to mention the numerous lamp posts you have to dodge, or not dodge, along the way (I’m not the only one that has a tendency to walk into things whilst on my phone am I?)
MIT researcher Dhairya Dand has proposed a unique solution. Tickly feet, well not quite tickly feet, insoles that fit into your shoes and give your feet a little tickle to tell you which direction to go in. He calls them ‘SuperShoes’. The insoles, which can fit into most generic shoes, connect with GPS on your smart phone in order to identify where you need to go and navigate through tickling in either the right or left foot when you need to turn.
Amazingly the insoles don’t just navigate, through tracking where your common destinations are and storing information through the app onto the cloud database the wearable technology can identify the likes and dislikes of the user. The technology, through a different tickle in both feet and subsequent suggestion on the app, can then recommend places that you might like to stop off at throughout your journey relating to your favourite food, clothes shop, music or anything else you can think of.
SuperShoes also continuously vibrate if you’ve set a reminder for yourself and can guide you to your destination if you wish. No more forgetting to pick up dinner on the way home or flowers on Valentine’s Day.
Whilst the scientist in me may look towards the potential implications in those with long term conditions, not least those in the early stages of dementia, I just can’t help but think that wearable technology is getting really, really, cool! Mind you, I’d like to see how they’d get on in Central London.
At the time of publishing SuperShoes are not currently available to the general public however you can expect to see them on the market fairly soon.
Jack Barton (Researcher, Rescon Ltd)
P.S check out the link below for more information on what SuperShoes are capable of.