[accessbangla] FW: smart cane announcement

  • From: Vashkar Bhattacharjee <vashkar79@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <accessbangla@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2014 14:45:16 +0600

Subject: smart cane announcement

*IIT Delhi, Saksham and Phoenix Medical Systems  launchSmartCaneTMto assist
visually impaired to detect knee-above obstacles*

*SmartCaneTM brings safe and independent mobility for the visually impaired
at an affordable cost*

*New Delhi, March 31, 2014*: As per WHO, 285 million people are estimated
to be visually impaired worldwide, with 90% in developing countries. India
is home for 12 million persons with blindness, largest for any country in
the world (2011 census data). The Indian Institute of Technology
Delhi's  Assistive
Technologies Group (ASSISTech) is proud to announce the launch of the
SmartCaneTM Device; an innovative and affordable navigation aid enabling
safe mobility for the visually impaired.

Developed jointly with Saksham Trust and Phoenix Medical Systems with
funding received from The Wellcome Trust (UK), SmartCaneTMhelps users
detect all obstacles above the knee-level. Utilising modern sensor
technology, this device detects obstructions up to a distance of 3 metres
and is compatible with the standard folding white cane currently used by
millions of visually impaired people across the globe. Further, the
SmartCaneTM device removes the need for physical contact with the cane in
order to detect obstacles in the immediate environment. At times,
accidentally touching or poking a stray animal or another human with a cane
could lead to an unpleasant response.

The cost of SmartCaneTM, inclusive of distribution and training costs is
Rs. 3000 while comparable navigational devices globally cost Rs 65000 or
more. Notwithstanding its affordable price tag, the manufacturer i.e.
Phoenix Medical Systems, Chennai has ensured that the device meets global
standards in terms of quality and reliability. Saksham Trust has developed
an extensive distribution partner network, geographically spread across
India for spreading awareness, training as well as after-sale support.

The various features of SmartCaneTMhave been entirely user-suggested and
then ratified through extensive field trials with over 150 users.  Talking
about the product, Dr Rohan Paul, who has played a key role in the
development of the SmartCaneTMdevice, said "Blindness is not just a medical
condition but possesses the larger dimensions of social exclusion, stigma
and neglect. Blind people are often taken by surprise by hanging branches,
protruding ACs and parked vehicles while navigating through unfamiliar
terrain. SmartCaneTMwarns the user of such objects in their path through a
unique system of vibratory patterns, designed to detect potential obstacles
even at head height."

Professor M Balakrishnan, Department of Computer Science & Engineering who
along with Professor PVM Rao of Mechanical Engineering Department leads the
ASSISTech activities, said, "I strongly believe that role of organizations
like IIT is to promote technology-based entrepreneurship so that the
country develops quality products that find mass acceptance not only in
India but globally."

Mr Dipendra Manocha, Managing Trustee of Saksham Trust and President of
National Association for the  Blind - Delhi, has provided research and
marketing support through its network of organizations. Phoenix Medical
Systems, India's leading manufacturer of medical devices for infant and
maternity care is the industrial partner of SmartCane(tm), providing
industrial R&D support and executing the manufacturing process. The
Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation, provided a research grant
under their "Affordable Healthcare in India" initiative for translational
research on SmartCane(tm).

Some Key Features of Smart Cane:

§  SmartCaneuses ultrasonic ranging to detect objects in its path and
generates tactile output in the form of different vibrating patterns. These
vibrations convey the distance information and thus enable the user to
negotiate the obstacles from a safe distance.

§  Detection of obstacles can be 'done to the range of 3m outdoors and 1.8
m indoors

§  SmartCane is very beneficial to protect from upper body injuries due to
obstacles that project onto the path (e,g, a tree branch or a window
air-conditioner) and goes undetected by a white cane

§  It can be used by people with different heights as sensors can be

§  Movement with smart cane is much faster as detection of obstacles is
much more effective.

§  It can be easily attached and detached to the white cane.

§  It can be easily recharged and the battery would easily last at least
four to five days on normal usage.

Annexure I gives the list of centres and their addresses where the
SmartCane is available

For more details:

Visit our web site: www.smartcane.saksham.org

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