Honda Developing Shoe-Based Navi System For Visually Impaired

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Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced a new firm called Ashirase, Inc. It’s the first startup that came from Ignition, Honda’s new business creation program.

Ashirase, Inc.’s first technologically advanced product is quite revolutionary, but it isn’t for cars. The company is developing an in-shoe navigation system to support visually impaired individuals with walking. Honda aims to begin sales of the system, which is also named Ashirase, by March 2023.

The Ashirase uses a smartphone app and a 3D vibration device with a motion sensor that’s attached inside the show. With the use of vibrations, the Ashirase will tell the user when to go straight, turn right, turn left, and stop. Honda said that the product should enable an intuitive understanding of the route so users don’t have to constantly mindful of directions for a safer and more relaxed walk.

Of note, the route guidance is provided by Global Navigation Satellite System while the vibrators are aligned with the foot’s nerve later. Vibration via the foot also allows freedom with the user’s hands, which can be used for other functions such as holding a cane.

We’re pretty sure a healthy lot of you know that Honda isn’t just an automaker. It’s also a tech company that constantly develops new-age products to aid in various walks of life.

Last year, Honda introduced the Ropot, which is practically a blind-spot warning for 7-year-old kids in Japan when walking. All of these technological devices sprung from a need for it, with the Ropot coming from the sheer number of accidents involving kids and walking.

With the Ashirase, Honda reported that there are quite a number of visually impaired individuals that needed aid when walking, thus the birth of this intuitive device.

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