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Still Waters

Smart cane helps blind people navigate

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Still Waters

Two years ago, Kürşat Ceylan was in New York to give a talk about disability rights at the United Nations. Blind since birth, the Turkish entrepreneur was struggling to find his hotel, holding a cane in one hand and pulling his luggage with the other while trying to get GPS directions from his phone.

“Not surprisingly, all of a sudden I bumped into a pole,” he says. “It was a little bit bloody.”

The problem with a cane is that, while it can tell you what’s on the ground, it doesn’t help with objects at the body or head level.

With WeWalk, a new smart cane, Ceylan hopes to help other blind people navigate their environments more easily. The GPS- and voice technology-enabled cane can tell users what’s around them—they’re passing a McDonald’s, they’re at Exit D of the subway station. An ultrasonic sensor detects objects at body or head level and gives a warning vibration.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/smart-cane-helps-blind-people-navigate-180973279/

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and then

These stories always make me feel better about the human condition :)   It will be such a wonderful day when the exosuit technology and price point make them available to all who need them.  New sensor suites that can be embedded in glasses or hand held objects could change life for the blind in amazing ways.  Even medicine is being revolutionized by tailored therapies that use DNA that is specific to the patient.  Amazing times we live in.

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