Honda develops shoe-based navigation system for visually impaired


Honda Motor Co., Ltd. recently announced the establishment of Ashirase, Inc. It is the automaker’s first business venture to come up from Ignition, Honda’s new business creation program. This new establishment has developed an in-shoe navigation system that will help the visually impaired with walking. The sales of this system that has also been named Ashirase may start before by March 31, 2023.

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Ashirase is foremost a navigation system that consists of a smartphone app and a three-dimensional vibration device with a motion sensor. This will be attached inside the shoe. These shoes will give direction to the user based on the route set in the app with the help of vibration. These vibrators have been designed to stay aligned with the nerve layer of the foot. When the user goes straight, the vibrator located on the front will vibrate. The vibrators located on the left and right sides will go on respectively to indicate the direction to him.

Honda said that the intuitive navigation given by Ashirase will help the user to be in a relaxed state of mind while walking hence making the whole act safer. The information of the route will be given by the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) based on the data from the user’s foot movement. The vibrators in the shoes will not create a hindrance for the user’s movement of hands like holding a cane.

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In Japan, it has been predicted that the number of visually impaired people can increase to nearly 2 million by 2030 from 1.64 million in 2007. Apart from automobiles, Honda is developing new-age technologies and products to help people from various walks of life.

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