San Jose, CA
Despite being centuries old, the traditional inexpensive white cane remains the primary mobility aid for the visually challenged. However, the white cane limits the users' environment awareness to just ground level obstacles, and even that only up to 1 meter. Alternate technology assisted travel aids either work independently of the white cane and hence have a very low adoption rate, or can be very expensive for most of the visually challenged. This is a low cost ($55) solution that adds on to the reliability and usability offered by the white cane. It uses ultrasonic and infrared sensors to convey the distances of obstacles up to shoulder height with a range of 2.5 meters. Obstacle distance information is conveyed by the varying intensity of vibrations at the cane handle.