An engineer from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, has created a device that will easy mobility for people with visual impairments. The device is a bracelet that will its user to locate obstacles or objects within 5 meters of distance.
Its creator, Marco Trujillo Tejeda, explained that the device is called Ustraap, and that thanks to its proximity system which alerts the presence of obstacles, it will give even bigger independence to anyone using it. "It's a wearable smart bracelet that widens the perception of those visually impaired regarding their surrounding objects."
The device comes with two functioning modes from which the user can choose from depending on his needs, mentioned the engineer during an interview with the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT):
Complementing navigation with the use of a cane
Trujillo commented: "The concept is very similar to the ones used in cars backing sensor, simple enough. The most important details revolve around the device's feedback in order to combine different scenarios."
Marco Trujillo and Cuauhtli Padilla Arias, partners of Ustraap, started the project in the university as part of a Social Service project for a school of blind girls in Guadalajara, which consisted on a bracelet that allowed girls to run with more confidence, thanks to the vibrations the device provided.
Once they realized what great approval the prototype had among parents, they decided to continue develop and perfectioning it. "We were highly motivated. Parents gave us time, money and contacts to continue the project. They wanted their children to be more independent and we could help with that. So we became entrepreneurs," mentioned Trujillo.
The next step of this project is to create product improvements and investigate hoe to create empathy amongst its users. It's expected to be launched within the next six months, with the first 2,000 units available only in the United States, expanding afterwards to Mexico, Latin America and Spain. The device will have a cost of approximately $350 dlls which will include a bracelet, earpiece, tag, charger and braille instructions.
With information from El Universal and El