Lucy H

Gamer invents gaming shoes for amputees

Lucy H 7th July 2016

George Levay is a keen gamer who unfortunately lost both hands to meningitis five years ago

George Gaming Shoes

George and two of his friends from Johns Hopkins University in America have devised a clever way to get him and other people with similar disabilities involved with gaming again.

Their solution is a sandal like controller that allows a player to control on-screen action with his or her feet, they recently won a $7,500 prize in the 2016 Intel-Cornell Cup, in which students are judged on inventions. 

To George the project is about much more than recovering his ability to play video games. “About 200,000 people in the USA alone have lost at least some part of an upper limb” he said, “and 20-30 percent of all amputees suffer from depression. They have a hard time socialising, especially young people”.

By the time their third prototype was built, the team had produced adjustable padded footwear that could help a seated player to participate in video games. Beneath each shoe is comfortable padding where there are three sensors that can detect foot movements, such as tilting or raising the front or heel of each foot. 

“This is a very simple design,” George said, “but it can potentially help a lot of people, since its wearable and its adjustable. Their goal is to licence their work to a company that can help make their device widely available."

You can watch a video of George's gaming shoes here or to find out more about life after meningitis click here.