September 27, 2021

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Innovation: The first white stick that recreates the environment for the blind

Autonomy – This is an innovation that can facilitate the daily movements of thousands of blind and visually impaired: it is an electronic box placed on top of the white cane.

Every time Frank Drift, who has been visually impaired since birth, approaches an obstacle, a beep tells him to order it to pass. For three years, he used a small electronic box placed on top of his white crutch. “With our classic sweeping style, I could totally miss it and put my feet in it”, he explains.

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3D audio alert

Thanks to ultrasonic sensors, this unit is able to detect danger on the ground, at a distance of two meters, but also at an average altitude. And that changes everything for Frank. It is alerted in real time by a smartphone app that beeps in its headphones. “Before I was less calm and walked much slower than I do today, because I was too afraid to pay for even a prominent mailbox, touching the shoulder, even if it was just mail,” Mentionsed.

The device was developed by a startup in Lyon. It allows the user to get a 3D audio alert. “We will hear a sound on the left if the obstacle is on the left, in the middle if the obstacle is in the middle and on the right if the obstacle is on the right,” Says Hugues de Chaumont, co-founder of “GoSense”. Another advantage is that the technology only alerts the user when there is a risk of collision.

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This innovation, 80% made in France, also allows Franck to geolocate himself. And to get home, he can also access bus schedules. “In terms of autonomy, we gain a lot. We don’t have to wait for someone to arrive at the bus stop to ask them when the next bus is”rejoice. This smart white cane costs €2000 and is 75% supported by disabled circles. Three hundred people are already using it all over France.

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