A Smart Cane For the Visually Impaired
This isn't an ordinary cane. WeWALK is a smart cane with sensors that detect obstacles and has voice-map integration to help the visually impaired.
WeWalk is not just the technology. It's the social movement.
This company in Turkey has created a smartcane to help connect nearly 217 million visually impaired people to the rest of the world. The WeWalk can detect objects at chest level and warn the user of their presence — which the conventional white cane cannot do. It is also integrated with a voice assistant and Google Maps to make secure navigation a possibility.
“Imagine as if you are blind and while you are walking in the street you have to hold your white cane at one hand. Also, you have to hold your smart phone in your other hand, and at the same time you have to use your cane, You have to check what is in front of you while you are walking. We be created WeWalk with three main features to solve these problems. Actually, I am blind since birth and my brother is also blind and I studied Primary School for the blind kids. I have travelled to more than 15 different countries and in these years I see much more tactile service surfaces for the visually impaired people. However still there is a long way to go. That's why we believe that WeWalk will make it faster to this changing and --- our goal is to provide full and equal participation to social life or visually impaired people. When visually impaired people can join the social life much more than right now, I believe social behaviors and an awareness on this topic will also raise and done everything can start to change faster than right now,” Kursat Ceylan, co-founder WeWalk explains.
WeWalk is now collaborating with Microsoft on the AI for Good project to raise awareness around how tech innovation can help impaired people. Ceylan, who is blind, says changing technologies can be a tool for marginalized groups to build a stronger community.