Most of us can’t imagine what it’s like to have to navigate the world without our sense of sight. Whether non-seeing people have been that way since birth or lost their sight later in life, adjusting to a world without having your eyes to guide you is never easy. However, a blind engineer recently made things a whole lot better by inventing a ‘smart cane’ that uses Google Maps to help those who are sight-challenged find their way.
Called WeWalk, the cane makes good use of the latest technological advancements all thanks to Kursat Ceylan, the CEO and co-founder of Young Guru Academy who also just so happens to be visually impaired. Ceylan hoped that he could make the lives of other blind people just a little bit better by equipping the device with built-in speakers, Google, vibration sensors that warn about obstacles, and even a voice assistant.
“In these days, we are talking about flying cars, but these people have been using just a plain stick,” Ceylan explained to CNN. “As a blind person, when I am at the Metro station, I don’t know which is my exit… I don’t know which bus is approaching… which stores are around me. That kind of information can be provided with the WeWalk.”
The cane is available for purchase on the WeWalk website for $500, which may seem expensive but in reality is a small price to pay for the help and security it provides to those who struggle with their sight.
The nonprofit company, which is based in Turkey, hopes that as they grow and the product becomes more popular, they’ll be able to expand its reach by partnering with ridesharing companies and other transportation companies to make navigating for blind people that much easier. Something tells me we should expect big things from Ceylan and WeWalk in future.