Whether you’re light on your feet, fast on your feet, or just grateful to be on your feet, there are times when anyone could benefit from location and movement guidance. We’ve written about E-vone’s smart footwear that detects and reports falls, laser-pointer shoes developed at Rice Unversity to help Parkinson’s patients overcome gait freeze, Boogio’s shoe inserts with sensors and smart switches, and more.

Lechal, an India-based smart shoe company, recently won the AXA PPP healthcare award for Excellence in Health Tech for its smart insole. The Lechal insole holds a battery-powered pod that interacts with a paired smartphone app for outdoor and offline navigation and fitness metrics. The pod guides navigation via haptic feedback when a user strays from the intended course. Users or caregivers can adjust the feedback vibration strength as appropriate. The insole uses unique vibration patterns for different types of turns or routing. For example, a slight vibration in the left or right foot indicates the direction of an upcoming turn. The smartphone app also uses the location and movement data from the pod for fitness metrics tracking.

The original inspiration for Lechal’s haptic navigation technology occurred when the company founder met with a visually-impaired acquaintance and realized the navigation challenges visually impaired people face. Lechal won the AXA PPP healthcare award based on the potential for the company’s insole to reduce fall risk and increase physical activity for older people.