smart white cane
Without an appropriate medium, information is useless. In the age of information, it is therefore important to design new and innovative communication mediums to enable users to access abstract data in an intuitive way. Different senses offer different potentials for interaction. The focus of this work is on the fifth sense - touch and feel. A material-oriented design process resulted in Sense Five - a smart mobility aid for people with visual impairments.
The white cane captures immediate environmental information with an integrated camera and also accesses real-time traffic data. The processed signals are transmitted directly to users through dynamic changes in the grip structure. Thus, the potential of connected infrastructure is used inclusively to warn of overhanging or (autonomously) moving objects, for example, and thereby enable safe mobility. The core of the innovation is the evolution of the surface structure to a communication medium, which opens up new possibilities for intuitive and differentiated sensorial use.