Wednesday, November 9, 2011

James Dyson Awards 2011 Runner-Up: BlindSpot

Blindspot is a smart white cane that helps visually handicapped people to take on an active role in socializing and venture into places that they do not dared to explore previously. It informs them of a friend or family member nearby and helps to actively meet them. The location of their friends can be abstracted from popular geographical-based social apps such as Foursquare and communicated through the Bluetooth earpiece connected to the cane. Having known that a friend is nearby, they can choose to call them with the earpiece or be guided towards their friends. Their friend's location can be guided by a tactile GPS navigator on the cane handle. It is a horizontally rolling ball that points to the exact direction to walk. Additionally, an in-built ultrasonic sensor helps detect hanging objects and gives forewarning of ground obstacles to the user. This allows visually handicapped people to confidently travel out of their comfort zone and be aware of people they know being around them.

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