- Pranjal Raaj Gupta , Mahima Patel , Visheshta Verma
Blind people are generally dependent on other people for convenience purposes. They are unable to freely go around and feel safe and independent. Also, there are times when their relatives are worried about their whereabouts and safety.
Aarohi was blind by birth.
She needed the help of others to guide her and carry out her regular commute. Not being able to carry out even small chores on her own got tiring for her and the person guiding her. She wished there was a device out there that made it easier for her to get to other places independently and safely and also helped her friend to analyze her whereabouts whenever necessary.
Ques1: Are you blind by birth?
Ans: Yes, I am blind by birth. I was born prematurely due to which my eyes weren't fully developed. I was kept in an incubator for 2 months in womb-like conditions with a 30% chance of living, as I was told, but fortunately, I survived and yeah, that's my story.
Ques2: How old are you?
Ans: I am 25 years old.
Ques3: What are the problems you face in daily life?
Ans: I face problems in regular stuff like folding laundry, cleaning up the house, going to the nearest store, social gatherings can get a bit weird for me, etc.
Ques4: How is daily commute different for you?
Ans: I can not go out of my house without my cane and also there is a high risk of getting lost or getting hit by something. We can say mobility is extremely difficult for me.
Ques5: What scares you when you are by yourself outside of your house?
Ans: I am scared of getting hit by a car. Also whenever I am out alone in a somewhat deserted area I am scared of getting mugged. Not to mention I have no idea what to do when I lose my cane.
Ques6: How frequently do you lose your cane?
Ans: I have lost mine at least twice in the past 5 years. Before that, I used to go around everywhere with a family member or a trusted friend.
Ques7: How does going to new (out of routine) places by yourself makes you feel?
Ans: I feel kind of scared of the unknown. New environments make me feel anxious.
Ques8: Is it true that blind people have exceptional hearing skills?
Ans: Well, you can't say exceptional. But I would say we have a slightly better hearing capability. I mean, it's not as high level as a dog, but it's just a bit better.
Ques9: What kind of assistance do you use now for mobility?
Ans: I use mobile apps. They are like audio maps for me.
Ques10: How does the idea of a smart cane sound to you?
Ans: Smart canes can be pretty useful but according to my experience they are not easily available and they are costly.
Our device solves the following problems that blind people face.
- Before, the user needed humanitarian assistance in their day to day commute. After using the device, the user will be able to independently commute safely from one place to another. Hence, their mobility becomes easier.
- Before, the chances of blind people getting lost were higher. After, the user will be able to navigate himself using the Speak Aloud GPS Technology. Also, their relatives will be able to trace their location.
- Before, there were chances that the blind people could get mugged or get into an accident. Safety was a big issue. After the user will be able to shout a safe word that will activate the SOS system and immediate help would arrive.
- The currently existing devices are comparatively heavyweight, expensive and complex. We are aiming towards making a lightweight, comparatively cheap and easy to use device.
- Before, the standard cane could get lost and would cause a lot of problems for the blind person. By using a smart cane, the user will be able to track their cane using their phones(voice commands).