A wearable for blind people
All the technology of a smartphone in a cane for blind or visual impaired people
Portable technology is, without a doubt, an excellent ally to help us take care of our health and achieve well-being in our daily lives. The wearables market offers as many solutions as society needs. From the popular watches, bracelets and now also smart rings, to virtual reality psychological therapies; even cardiac monitors, socks, jackets and swimsuits, caps, breast pumps, tattoos; and the latest in the fight against COVID-19, smart masks and devices to respect social distancing. Even in the health sector, there is already talk of eHealth.
Technological progress, within the field of health and medicine, represents a complete revolution for those people who must make a greater effort to adapt to an environment that is not well prepared for their physical condition; We refer to people with disabilities or functional diversity. In this sense, Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays a key role, since it allows the creation of new, more sophisticated algorithmic models that help to improve the user experience.
Wearables, blindness and visual impairment
There are numerous applications of AI in wearables, some of them with a great impact on people’s lives; such as the ability of certain systems to learn visual cues, transmitting this information in such a way that blind people can recognize buildings, roads, street furniture, pavements, sidewalks, curbs and corners. This is the case with Orcam My Eye glasses, which allow blind people to “read the environment”.
All the technology of a smartphone in a cane. Kursat Ceylan, blind Turkish designer and CEO and founder of the Turkish non-profit organization Young Guru Academy (YGA), has revolutionized the industry of walking sticks for blind or visually impaired people by transforming this simple and fundamental tool into a whole smart device.
The handle of this innovative stick is made up of a speaker, a microphone and a haptic sensor; through which the device captures and sends sound as well as vibrations interacting with the user. In addition, through an ultrasonic sensor, the remote will warn the user, by means of vibration, in case there is an object located above the chest level. This tactile stimulation acts as a notification. On the other hand, the control incorporates a touch panel through which the blind person can access the different options of the system.
The smart stick is associated with the mobile phone and different applications, such as Google Maps; allowing the user to access information directly from the cane. It also has the Google voice assistant among other features. The battery has an autonomy of 5 hours and is charged via USB.
The wearable was developed on an open source platform with the aim of nurturing the project with the contributions of other developers. It was chosen as one of the best innovations of 2019 by Time magazine and was awarded during the Gitex Technology Week and the celebration of the Edison Awards.