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The Bromfield School
Harvard, Mass.
Sensing cane for the visually impaired


The Bromfield Invention Club plans to help blind/visually impaired individuals navigate their environments safely and confidently through the creation of a "virtual cane". We plan to use existing distance sensing technology to gather information on the immediate surroundings and relay that information back to the user through a variety of techniques such as audio or tactile vibration feedback. The virtual cane would share several uses of a conventional cane, such as detecting walls and stairways, but could also detect obstacles like overhangs and branches that are beyond the scope of a conventional cane. We hope to create a unique device that will be unobtrusive, useful, and will complement existing assistive technologies.