Introduction to Assistive Technology for Vision Impairments

3.4.2. Electronic aids for mobility and orientation
A. Smart Cane

The smart cane is an electronic aid that is based on the cane and can be attached to a normal cane. Here we look at smart canes that use ultrasound to detect obstacles by adding two ultrasound beams and sensors to the cane.

One beam detects objects in front of the user and the other one detects the objects at head height. The user gets tactile feedback through three vibrating pins located on each side and in the middle, to indicate the direction in which the detected object is
located. The intensity of the vibration indicates how close the object is from the user. 
In the following 8-minute video, listen to the story of the smart cane developed by Professor Balakrishnan’s team in IIT-Delhi, which is used by persons with vision impairment all over India.

The success of assistive technologies like the smart cane depends heavily on the training and follow-up given to the users with disabilities. Despite the success, it is still a work in progress.

Here is another mobility aid that works like a walking cane.

B. Ausion
A handheld mobility aid to detect objects in the region immediately in front of it.