BARCELONA: The white sticks used by the visually impaired to help them get around have undergone a high-tech makeover, with a “smart cane” that not only detects obstacles but can also give users information about stores and locations. restaurants they pass.
The device is the brainchild of Kursat Ceylon, a Turkish inventor who was born blind and had an accident three years ago that left him with scars as he struggled to navigate while pulling luggage and checking GPS directions via his smartphone.
He helped create WeWALK, a tech company that created an electronic handle for the top of a cane. It uses ultrasound to detect obstacles, can be paired with a smartphone, and provides voice feedback to help keep the user safe and informed.
“We offer visually impaired people the opportunity to be part of social life,” Ceylan, 35, told Reuters at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where the company is seeking the title of “best impact startup”.
He said the foldable cane, priced at $ 599, is already being used by thousands of visually impaired people in 59 countries, and WeWALK is working with companies including Microsoft to add more features.
“As you know, we are thinking of fully autonomous vehicles… WeWALK is a device intended to provide fully autonomous blind travel for the visually impaired,” Ceylon said.