How the eye cane device will look, to help users navigate their environment.

Prof. Amir Amedi’s been working in his world-renowned Lab for Brain and Multisensory Research, so that people with vision impairment can “see” their environment. This is with the aid of sensory substitution devices (SSDs) that provide visual information from sound and touch.

“The white cane is from 1921,” Rosenbaum tells ISRAEL21c. “The 21st century high-tech world hasn’t effectively answered the mobility needs of blind people.”

EyeCane, a flashlight-like orientation device, emits infrared rays to translate distance into auditory and tactile cues enabling the user to sense objects within an adjustable range of up to five meters. This is a device that would be new to the market and a great improvement to current offerings. From what the video displays, the user would have the similar type of use with a traditional cane with a side to side motion to survey the area and receive feedback from the device. It would be smaller to carry around than the current variety of single, guide and long canes (mobility aids).

After brief training, EyeCane users can estimate distances, avoid obstacles and successfully navigate in simple environments. At this stage it is in early development so there is a lot of scope for future development, as with technology, there are improvements as it is developed and this is already a great start to what is out there. A very encouraging development and I hope it encourages others to also develop technology to enhance the lives of visually impaired individuals.

Full story available: http://www.israel21c.org/the-gadgets-that-enable-blind-people-to-see

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