Have you ever noticed a person walking around with a stick out in front of them moving it from left to right and making a tap, tap, tap sound? That person was probably visually impaired, using what is called a “white cane”. The cane is how a blind individual navigates obstacles in the world. The color of the cane has significance. An all-white can lets others know this person is blind. A white cane with red stripes signifies a user is a blind-deaf person. As a driver, you should yield to a blind pedestrian in or out of a crosswalk. No matter what city, there is no perfectly disabled-friendly city.
The white cane is said to be invented in 1921 by a photographer from Bristol, England, who became blind, after an accident, James Briggs was uncomfortable with the growing amount of traffic with automobiles near his home. He painted his walking stick white to be more visible.
Roll forward to 2017 due to the advancements in technology many products have been re-invented that includes the invention of the smart cane. The WeWalk Smartcane project started in 2017. By 2019 WeWalk was a company. The WeWalk Smartcane was invented by a visually impaired engineer, Kursat Ceylan, who was the CEO and Co-founder of the Young Guru Academy (YGA). Ceylan has known firsthand the challenges of being blind.
The smartcane assists people who are visually impaired by using smart technology. It is equipped with built-in speakers, a voice assistant, Google, and ultra-sonic sensors, which send vibrations to warn of obstacles. WeWalk connects to a smartphone via a proprietary app and Bluetooth. The smartcane will find your current location and navigate to a new location, using clock-based directions. Using geolocation technology if the cane is lost a person can use a voice alert to find it.