High-Tech Systems Help Orient People with Visual ImpairmentsBy West, Julie; AT Journal, Vol. 85, No. 1
Publication Date: November 2003
Article describes two assistive aids that are becoming available for people who are blind or have low vision: (1) the Batcane, from Sound Foresight Limited, and (2) the Trekker, from VisuAide. The Batcane is a white cane that incorporates high-tech systems to detect obstacles in the user’s path. The device incorporates ultrasonic and tactile feedback technology, mimicking the sensory feedback bats use when they fly. The tactile feedback helps the user create a mental map of his or her surroundings. The Trekker is a personal digital assistant (PDA) that operates on a PocketPC with Windows CE. The PDA system has been adapted for people who are blind or have low vision by incorporating talking menus, talking maps, and a global positioning chip. The user can determine positioning, create routes to desired destinations, and receive other navigational information. The PDA also offers search functions and an extensive database of landmarks and points of interest, including restaurants, hotels, office buildings, and ATMs.
Assistive Products Discussed: ULTRACANE
AT Network (Web Site: http://www.atnet.org )
Link to text: http://www.atnet.org/news/nov03/111501.htm