device is an electronic travel aid which fits on the top fold of the white cane. It serves as an enhancement to white cane and overcomes its limitations by detecting knee above and hanging obstacles. For safe mobility, it is important that such obstacles are detected early. The cane has other uses as a spatial awareness device as it can detect presence/absence of objects in the surroundings.
Further, as compared to the white cane, the detection distance is increased from 0.5 meters to 3 meters. It informs about the presence of objects before actually touching the object with the cane and thus helps in preventing unwanted contact. This avoids socially awkward situations like collision with people while walking or unsafe collisions with animals or into trash.
device uses ultrasonic ranging to detect objects in its path and generates tactile output in the form of different vibratory patterns. These vibrations convey the distance information and thus enable the user to negotiate the obstacles from a safe distance. With simple orientation and training, any visually impaired person who is a regular user of the white cane for mobility can benefit from this device.
More about SmartCane...
has its genesis as a student project at IIT Delhi and was initially supported by Media Lab Asia. Subsequently, Wellcome Trust, UK funded a joint effort by IIT Delhi, Phoenix Medical Systems Pvt. Ltd., Chennai and Saksham Trust, Delhi for translational research Read More
The SmartCaneTM device is expected to be released in March 2014 and will be priced at Rs. 3,000/- in India. Note that comaparable devices available internationally costs Rs. 65,000/- and above. Major research efforts have been undertaken to develop a more user friendly device at a very affordable price.
Saksham Trust will work together with partner welfare organizations for making this product available as well as providing orientation training across the country. Further contact details of the partner organizations along with their role will be published soon.
“The SmartCane device is very beneficial. It protects me from a lot of upper body injuries which I earlier used to encounter on a daily basis while using the regular White cane”
“The device detects obstacles which was earlier not possible with White cane. This device has made us smart just like its own name.”
“It feels great to be able to move around alone. I no more need to hold anyone’s hand for my mobility. I can just be myself. Family and friends now have the confidence in me that I can travel independently without getting hurt or injured.”
“My initial experience with the White cane was like gosh! And now with Smart cane it’s like wow. I walk faster and am more confident now. Just one word for the device:
“Since the time I have started using Smart cane I am not getting injured these days. My safety in travel has increased by a great deal”