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New Assistive Technologies for People with Vision Impairments

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If you like to follow the latest developments and learn about new assistive technology devices for people with vision impairments, CNN has provided an overview of new devices on it’s web publication. The following navigation tools for people with vision impairments were featured on CNN on October 5, 2020. For the complete list (which includes devices for people with various disabilities, visit cnn.com.

AI Suitcase is a smart suitcase designed to help visually impaired people navigate public spaces. It uses cameras, sensors and artificial intelligence to maps the surrounding area. It was designed in a collaboration between Carnegie Mellon University, IBM and a number of other Japanese companies.  (AI Suitcase does not actually carry clothes or other items.)

WeWalk is a cane designed for visually impaired people that uses an ultrasonic sensor to detect obstacles above chest height and warns the user through vibrations. It was esigned by engineers from Young Guru Academy in Turkey, and it can be paired with a smartphone to help navigation.  It is integrated with a voice assistance and Google Maps.

Wayband is a super-precise GPS device.  It was developed by blind runner Simon Wheatcroft in collaboration with US start-up WearWorks, and it creates a “virtual corridor” from a pre-programmed route and uses small vibrations to let the user know if they stray outside it. It is worn on the wrist.

Wayfindr is a subsidiary of the UK’s Royal Society for Blind Children, and it has developed a technology called Wayfindr for visually impaired people to navigate indoor spaces. The Society worked with transport providers, shopping malls, and visitor attractions to develop navigation instructions that are relayed by a mobile phone.

Haptic baton. This baton transmits instructions from an orchestra conductor to visually impaired musicians through vibrations in receivers worn on the wrist or ankle, allowing them to play along with an orchestra. It was designed by music technology company Human Instruments in collaboration with blind percussionist Kyungho Jeon.

Learn about Ensight’s assistive technology devices and training on our Services page.