Lechal: Shoes that help you navigate the world

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Name of the Company – Ducere Technologies Pvt Ltd.
Name of Founder(s) – Krispian Lawrence
City – Hyderabad

The idea was to take away the stick and use technology to assist a much ignored segment of society – physically disabled people. Krispian Lawrence, a graduate from Michigan University, wanted the visually impaired to navigate the world better by using haptic technology (recreating the sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations or motions to the user).

However, the founder soon realised that while GPS on phone has guided many a lost soul home, there have been many a times that it guided many others straight into a pole. “When we started in 2011, the product was just an idea, a concept that we wanted to explore, but the more we explored, the more prototypes we built, the more we tested, the more we realized that the product could be and should be used by everyone and not just those who are visually-impaired,” says Lawrence.

“Lechal has been created to offer convenience to its users, it has no language barrier and no extensive instruction manual. The footwear allows users to tag locations, set destinations and get real-time data on landmarks all around you. Lechal also boasts unique voice commands and has an inherently social nature, enabling you to share your location with other users. The footwear is also ideal for groups of families and friends that want to keep track of everyone,” says Lawrence.
Launched five months back, the startup has already shipped 10,000 units of the product and is available for Rs 6,999 on the company’s website. The product was launched on the Amazon Launchpad platform last week to increase its reach.

Keeping with the genesis of the idea, 75% of the manufacturing force in Ducere Technologies is comprised of differently-abled people and has quickly grown to employ 100 people. The company is also working to open channels with organisations working with visually-impaired people to serve its initial target group. The immediate plan of the startup is to increase the production capabilities and distribution channels of Lechal in order to serve the demand and at the same time, expand the footwear line to bring more Lechal-enbaled footwear in the market.

However, Lawrence identifies himself more as an innovator and is busy giving three more ideas the shape of wearable tech, one of which he expects to launch by the second quarter of next year.

 

 

 

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