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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Object detection technology

Hello, I’m working on a technology idea and would like to receive some feedback on the utility of the technology. The basic idea is a tool that enables people to detect objects around them from (head-level down to knee-level) and extends the detection window beyond what one can feel with a walking cane. This technology is not meant to replace the cane but to supplement it by expanding ones awareness of his/her surroundings. The technology is also meant to be relevantly affordable (under $200). I would like to know if this technology would be of any use for blind people and whether they would find it practical and affordable. Thanks

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Re: Object detection technology

No problems. If you have a chance, you should definitely meet with and talk to an O&M instructor regarding this. They can discuss other important considerations you have to think about as well.

Re: Object detection technology

CruelAngel88, thanks for your feedback; I found it helpful. Also it won't use laser and it certainly won't be as expensive as the ultracane.

Re: Object detection technology

Would it be using ultrasonic sensors or lasers? The lasers were used in before, but were found to have numerous issues regarding false positives. Most current versions use ultrasonics.

Most of them don't use sound cues, because white cane users often have to listen for other things, and earphones may interrupt that (traffic, landmarks, etc).

The other major issue is how the device tells the user where the obstruction is. Just indicating to the left or right isn't sufficient, you would have to indicate the degree of direction as well as distance. The sonic cane I linked above uses vibrations on the two yellow nubs to indicate distance (closer it is, the more strongly it vibrates) while it uses your own proprioceptive sense to indicate direction.

Re: Object detection technology

I don't need to do any research. I cannot afford such things as GPS's or any other object.

My thoughts are the same as far as my cane goes.

I know canes cannot do hanging objects, but I will deel with it. I have every since the starting of using the cane.

I do understand why the use of the object thing, but I don't want to use it. Others can though.

Re: Object detection technology

I understand the value of the white cane for the user, especially for feeling the texture of the ground and I don't think any technology can be a good substitute. The two limitations I think are detecting overhanging objects and detecting object on the sides and those two areas are what I intend to supplement with this technology. It won't be similar in function to GPS systems, thus much more cost effective, and it will have sound cues as the alert system. Sound in the left ear would alert of objects on the left and sound in the right ear would do the same for objects on the right. Sound in both ears alert of over hanging objects ahead.

Re: Object detection technology

Hi, Like Glori, I too am a white cane user. There have been object detection devices before, i.e. the former Telesensory Company manufactured some such device in the 70s and 80s to my recollection but was not cost effective. Would you use sound cues as the alert system? Do the mobile GPS systems function similarly to what you have in mind? I would suggest if you have not, do some research first and then decide if this is the way to proceed.

Re: Object detection technology

I am happy with what I got and that is my whitecane.

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