One of the most common methods that the visually-impaired people use to move around is the white cane. However, every technology always has room for improvement. Young entrepreneurs at the Young Guru Academy (YGA) in Turkey believe that they can improve the existing white canes and have partnered up with the electronics company Vestel in order to do so.
They have created the WeWalk Smart Cane. This high-tech smart cane consists of an electronic handle and a normal white cane inserted into the bottom. The tip of the regular white cane is used to detect obstacles at ground level. The user is made aware of head-level obstacles by ultrasound pulses in the handle. The handle buzzes to inform the user of the obstacle.
There is a front LED to aid the partially-sighted users in the dark. There is a touchpad that can be used to remotely operate a Bluetooth-connected smartphone. There are also built-in speakers in WeWalk that the users can use to receive verbal directions from apps such as Google Maps.
They can also use the near-field mic to talk to the Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. The technology is built around an open platform and allows third-party developers to add their own smartphone-based functions. The battery is charged through a USB port and it lasts for 5 hours on a single charge.
The local production of WeWalk has already been funded by YGA on Turkey’s Arikovani crowdfunding platform. It has now turned to Indiegogo in order to expand the technology to the rest of the world. You can pledge $349 to have one delivered to you in December if everything goes as planned. The retail price is planned to be set at $499.
You can check it out in the video below: