Filed under: Product Design, technology | Tags: gps, Martin Frey, path finding
CabBoots is a pair of shoes with an integrated guidance system. In other words, a pedestrian navigation system built into a pair of shoes. Conventional navigational devices usually communicate through acoustic and visual signals. The CabBoots shoes pursue a more intuitive mode of information as they utilize tactile feedback.
CabBoots mimics the principles of walking on a path. A path usually has a concave cross-section, and when walking along such a path, the feet of the person walking only come down on a flat surface right in the middle of the trail. In both sides of such a path, the foot lands on an outward slope which causes the ankle to tilt a bit to one side. While walking, the body registers this tilting of the ankle and intuitively compensates by steering back towards the middle thus enabling the person to walk the path blindfolded. CabBoots utilizes this characteristic. Electromechanical elements placed in the sole of the CabBoots shoes produce an artificial tilting of the feet. This artificial tilting of the feet resembles the real thing, and individual and virtual paths can thus be communicated via CabBoots.