Here’s What You Need To Know If You See Someone Wearing Shoes

A team of computer scientists from Austria has pioneered a groundbreaking shoe called InnoMake, designed to aid visually impaired individuals in navigating obstacles while walking. Tec-Innovation, an Austrian company, collaborated with Graz University of Technology to develop these shoes, which retail for over $3,000.

InnoMake incorporates a waterproof ultrasonic sensor on the toe of each shoe, capable of detecting obstacles up to 13 feet away. Vibrations and sounds notify the wearer as they approach objects, with the technology being akin to parking sensors commonly found in vehicles.

Markus Raffer, visually impaired co-founder of Tec-Innovation, emphasized its effectiveness: "This solution works excellently and has already proven to be a significant aid to me personally."

Each foot is equipped with a dedicated sensor, available either as a complete shoe or as a retrofit option. These sensors are capable of discerning the nature of objects, distinguishing between walls, cars, or stairs, and offering tailored alerts.

Tec-Innovation intends to further refine the design of InnoMake by integrating camera-based recognition and machine learning for enhanced navigation assistance. Subsequent versions may feature a "street view navigation map" to assist a broader range of users.

Friedrich Fraundorfer at TU Graz explained, "They utilize camera images captured from the foot perspective to identify an obstacle-free area, ensuring safe navigation, and can also recognize and differentiate various objects."

InnoMake holds the promise of revolutionizing the lives of visually impaired individuals, granting them greater independence and safety in navigating their surroundings.

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