Thanks to the ingenuity of a blind inventor, people who lack sight can more easily navigate the world.
The “smart cane,” or WeWalk cane, uses ultrasonic sensors to warn the user of nearby objects and obstacles through vibrations in the handle.
As CNN reports, the purpose of the device is to protect people from low-hanging objects and obstacles above chest level. Not only can the can be paired with a smartphone’s Bluetooth system for easy control but is is also integrated with Voice Assistant and Google Maps Software. Furthermore, the WeWalk cane has built-in speakers the user of nearby stores and infrastructural details that may not easily be detected.
Notably, the CEO and co-founder of WeWalk, Kursat Ceylan, is blind himself. He told CNN that he was inspired to develop the cane to help other blind people benefit from modern technology.
“In these days we are talking about flying cars, but these people have been using just a plain stick,” he told CNN. “As a blind person, when I am at the Metro station I don’t know which is my exit … I don’t know which bus is approaching … [or] which stores are around me. That kind of information can be provided with the WeWalk.”
The device is certainly an investment. Currently, the Wewalk is being sold for $500. As the invention gains traction, the Turkish start-up hopes to pair it with ridesharing apps and transportation services. The goal is to further improve its navigational abilities and open the world even further to visually impaired individuals.