The WeWALK Smart Cane and smartphone app work together to help those with sight impairment independently navigate the world by using sound and voice activation.
Pairing with the WeWALK smartphone app, the Smart Cane supports a visually impaired person move around outdoors. The app connects with the cane via Bluetooth, so the user can keep a free hand as they move. A touchpad on the cane itself can direct the user even without the smartphone being held. The system also connects to any headset with a microphone, so users can speak to the app, which will listen, respond and subsequently direct the cane.
The cane detects objects above the ground using ultrasound technology and will direct users away from those obstacles, enabling easy movement from one place to another. The app instructs the user using clock directions, easing any worries about following street signs or finding road names. Additionally, the app will give suggestions for public transport options, so users aren’t just limited to on-foot travel.
The WeWALK app and cane tracks destinations users frequently visit, and they can save those specific addresses and find new ones. In addition, the app will automatically say out loud the different restaurants, shops and other attractions that are in the vicinity, supporting independent discovery. Users can even speak into their headsets and ask the app specific questions such as “Where am I?” or “Where can I get a burger?” The app will intelligently and accurately respond; as it grows accustomed to the user, it will get smarter.
Customisable options, such as background colour, text size and more, are available on the WeWALK app to accommodate for differing levels of sight impairment. Users can also adjust the minimum distance at which objects are detected, again catering to the user’s personal needs. Indoors, the Smart Cane is just as helpful; it can help users find the location of the cane in their home if it’s lost or misplaced. To do this, users can speak into their smartphone, and the cane will make a noise, allowing them to follow the sound to the device. But, of course, this also works the other way around, as users can find their smartphone using their cane.