Lechal (Hindi for take me along) is a new innovative technology that helps and improves the walking experience for the visually-impaired people. This wearable will soon be available as a shoe or insole that tells you which way to go and collects data about our activities on the way.
There has been a lot of interest for about this device, especially since it was conceptualised in India and will now also be made here. “We initially started manufacturing in China, but we have since set up a unit in Hyderabad. The product will be available in the coming months and we are awaiting some final certifications,” says Lawrence. His target is to take ‘Lechal’ to four top markets including India by the last quarter of 2015.
Ducere Technologies, that has made this product, has been set up in Hyderabad with Massachusetts Institute of Technology alumni Anirudh Sharma in 2011. The company has raised $2million from angel investors and has plans to raise additional funding.
Interestingly, Lawrence does not look at his venture as a tech player, but a fashion player. “We are the future of footwear and fashion. In fact, we are as high on fashion as technology,” he adds. So the plan is to have a difference variant every quarter and thus appeal to all types of people.
Lechal will be available as shoes and insoles. Ducere technologies, the first wearable footwear company in the world is in talks with various international brands and are exploring joint development opportunities as there is nothing like this out there yet. That gives them a good entry point.
How it works & pricing plans:
The shoe and insole will work in tandem with a smartphone app that will collect and collate the data. “But it is important to understand that the app is just part of the experience,” says Lawrence. The company wants their custom software to develop into a platform for developers to create app for their products. So a software development kit (SDK) is being worked on and will be released soon.
Lawrence assures that while it does cost to make a quality product, Lechal won’t be priced beyond what products from international brands would be. The plan is to reduce costs as scale kicks in later on.
Lechal is not the only product that Ducere Technologies is working on and you can expect all sorts of wearable devices from the company soon. “We want to create an ecosystem of wearables performing distributed tasks.”
Read full story here: Kashmir Monitor
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