Soul to sole: Eye surgeon Anthony Vipin Das has developed shoes that see for the blind

Blind will live better as mobility is no long a limiting factor

TED Blog

A haunting black-and-white video screened during the TED Fellows talks depicted people speaking into a device and then walking — at first taking halting steps, then more confident strides. As the video unfolds, the camera zooms in on the faces of the walkers — revealing that they are blind.

With his team, TED Senior Fellow Anthony Vipin Das, an eye surgeon, has been developing haptic shoes that use vibration and GPS technology to guide the blind. This innovation — which could radically change the lives of the vision-impaired — has drawn the interest of the United States Department of Defense, which has recently shortlisted the project for a $2 million research grant. Anthony tells us the story behind the shoe.

Tell us about the haptic shoe.

The shoe is called Le Chal, which means “take me there” in Hindi. My team, Anirudh Sharma and Krispian Lawrence and I, are working…

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