More and more products are being reinvented by adding an extra touch of technology. From smartwatches to smart TV’s, there are plenty of examples, and actually we are rarely surprised about what technology has to offer. Although most new inventions are mainly for entertainment, there are also numerous inventors who focus on health and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.
Recently, a new and revolutionary blind-stick came onto the market under the name WeWalk. The white stick is meant to help blind people find their way when they go out on their own.
The Turkish inventor of the stick, Kursat Ceylan, is the director and co-founder of the Young Guru Academy (YGA), which is behind WeWalk as a non-profit organisation. Not just that, but the man is also blind himself. He invented the technical stick because he knows from his own experience how big the challenge for the blind is to find their way in unknown places in big cities like Istanbul. He decided to use his knowledge to make the lives of fellow-sufferers easier and with his invention, he won a Golden Edison Award in May 2018. This year, the company was again chosen by Forbes as one of the “22 Innovative Technology Startups to watch”.
In an interview with CNN, Ceylan said: “Recently, there has been more and more talk about flying cars, but these people still use a simple stick. As a blind person, I don’t know which exit to take at the subway station. I have no idea which bus is coming. What shops are nearby. All this information can now be obtained with the WeWalk.
The one and a half kilo smart stick helps the blind and visually impaired with a sophisticated technique, some parts of which we already use daily. The system is equipped with built-in speakers, a voice assistant, connection to Google Alexa, a button on the left and right side that can vibrate and sensors to warn if obstacles are higher than chest height. In addition to having a built-in Google Maps function, the technical section can also connect to your phone via Bluetooth. So in addition to pointing the way, and the regular functions that a blind person with a traditional stick has always had, the device also helps to recognize additional dangers that a blind person with a traditional stick could never have seen coming up to a distance of 2.5 meters.
The WeWalk will be available on the company’s website and will be offered for $499. It also has a standard 1 year warranty. There is no need for the new owner to worry about learning how to use the WeWalk, as free training is included and will be given through video calls. The built-in Lithium-Ion battery promises to last 20 hours and a special charger is included in the box. The product is available worldwide, so it can also be ordered to the Netherlands and Belgium.