Blind Bargains

#CSUNATC20 Audio: This Is The Way weWalk With Smart Cane Technology

We've interviewed makers of Smart Cane tech before on Blind Bargains, however, not many of those previous interviewees were featured in Time Magazine for tech innovation. That's why Shelly caught up with Kursat Ceylan, Cofounder of WeWalk, to discuss what sets this approach apart from others. Tune in, or read below, to find out more about the companion app and features for this mobility aid. Have you ever needed a light for night travel or a "find my cane" option? This just might be the ideal travel item for you. To learn more, or purchase the cane, visit the company's website

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File size: 5.6MB
Length: 07:31

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Orko Friday, 16-Oct-2020 2:21 PM ET:

Hi! I bought one of these and here are my impressions of it and the company. Unfortunately, it doesn't take long to figure out that this company has no real experience working with the blind or visually impaired as they made a number of glaring mistakes in the design and implementation of their smart cane. The first is that they actually put a wrist strap on the handle end of the cane, if this company had had any experience at all with the VIP community, they'd have known that mobility instructors warn their students to never use that section of bungee cord sticking out of the handle of their mobility cane as a wrist strap while using the cane because if the cane should become stuck to a passing vehicle the wrist strap would pull you into traffic with it which could result in serious injury or death. The next problem I encountered was that when the smart cane is assembled, you cannot properly fold it up for storage. To do that you must remove the electronic handle from the rest of the cane, so now you have two pieces that need storing instead of just one, and unlike the dumb cane where you can use that bit of bungee cord coming out of the back end of the cane's handle to keep the cane folded up, the smart cane doesn't provide you with any way to keep it folded up when you don't need it. The provided wrist strap is no where near adequate for the task. The smart cane's grip is all wrong. When I was trained in using my mobility cane I was told that the proper grip to use was to have the flat part of the grip facing to the right and extending my index finger along it. The smart cane requires that you use a grip that has the flat part facing up and that you would extend your thumb along it instead of your index finger. This new grip can be learned, but it will put you at odds with your mobility training. The end result of all this is that it tells me that this smart cane does not have all the product testing with its intended audience that this company claims it has, so between the products many design and implementation flaws, I am going to return it and just keep using my dumb canes. Orko...

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Joe Steinkamp is no stranger to the world of technology, having been a user of video magnification and blindness related electronic devices since 1979. Joe has worked in radio, retail management and Vocational Rehabilitation for blind and low vision individuals in Texas. He has been writing about the A.T. Industry for 15 years and podcasting about it for almost a decade.

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