IIT Delhi has developed a smart cane to help the visually impaired. The cane has multiple features, including object detection in a three-meter sphere around the person using it.
The cane is a smart version of the normal cane which visually impaired people use to navigate. It uses ultrasonic technology used in the radars to identify the objects and obstacles around the person. Due to this technology it can also detect objects above knee height, which a normal can is not able to.
"SmartCane device is a travel aid for the persons with visual impairment. Initiated as a class project, it is an outcome of several years of joint effort of academia, industry and user community to make in India an affordable device that conforms to International quality standards. Our mission has always been towards developing partnerships that enable us to reach the people who need it most," said M. Balakrishnan, a professor at IIT Delhi, and the Smartcane team leader.
"This project started in 2005 when we were students. The challenge for us was coming up with the technological solution for the visually impaired. We had tested this device with a 14-year-old boy and the happiness of the family motivated us," said Dheeraj Mishra, a research assistant at IIT Delhi.
The cane has a detection range of 1.8 meters indoors and 3 meters outdoors. It has different vibratory patterns for different detections. The cane also indicates battery status, sensor failure, and vibrator failure through voice feedback. The sensors are adjustable with the height of the person. And the sensor is a detachable device so if the cane breaks, the user can simply buy another cane.
The cane is made available through Snapdeal for ₹3500. Potential donors can also use Snapdeal sunshine portal to donate the cane.
"SmartCane is a fine example of technology solving real-life problems of people and we at Snapdeal take immense pride in bringing the latest innovations to the market. We are confident that this product will be well received and our customers will also come forward to donate SmartCane to NGOs working with persons with visual impairment,” said Tony Navin, Senior VP of partnerships and strategic initiatives at Snapdeal.
There have been numerous steps taken towards assistive technology initiative these days. A Microsoft developer who lost his eyesight at the age of 7 has developed an app to help the visually impaired. And the startup called Barrier Break is using technology to empower differently abled people.