While technology helps the visually impaired better access the digital world (making it easy for them to quickly dictate emails or speak instructions intosmartphones, for instance), trying to get around in the real world can be somewhat more challenging.
Most blind people rely on a trusty guide dog or a white cane to sense what is in front of them. Ustraap, a startup founded by three Mexican entrepreneurs, is hoping to improve the tools blind people can use to understand their surroundings.
Ustraap has created a bracelet that identifies obstructions, allowing a visually impaired person to point it in any direction and receive either a vibration or a buzz when an object is in their way.
The bracelet can also identify exactly how dense that obstruction is: Oncoming bushes might result in a softer buzz than a wall or a lamppost. While a dog or a cane can only identify what is directly in front of its owner, the Ustraap can sense obstructions that are above ground level or even behind the wearer.
In other words, the device offers the blind a 360-degree sensory experience that is a little more like what a sighted person might be able to access.