2nd Thursday of October is celebrated as World Sight Day (WSD). This special day is celebrated to create an awareness and to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment. Eyes are one of the most important organ of our body. We perceive up to 80% of all impressions by means of our sight.

According to estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) Prevention of Blindness and Deafness Programme. 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide. 39 million peoples are blind and 246 million have low vision (myopia and hypermetropia). 90% of visually impaired people live in developing countries. One of the main reason behind the complete loss of vision is cataract. If the cataract is not treated soon then it leads to complete blindness. Some possible causes of visual impairment are refractive errors and glaucoma [3].

Out of 90%, blind people living in developing countries 15 million are from India [3,5], which is considered as the largest population of visually challenged people in the world. Many of them used a regular white cane to guide their pathways while walking on the ground. These regular white canes are only capable of detecting obstacles on the ground up to a range of half to one meter. Thus blind people often end up hurting themselves by stepping over pits and colliding with obstacles nearby. So we can see that regular white canes are not able to prevent such unwanted collisions which make them feel very awkward and anxious by limiting their independent mobility.

So we could see that there are lot of problems that a visually impaired person has to go through in his/her entire life. But a group of passionate technologists, an IIT Delhi professor and a social entrepreneur saw this problem as an opportunity. They worked hard on this problem and came up with a very innovative product SmartCane. Specially designed for visually challenged people to ease their way of living. A SmartCane solves the challenges face by visually challenged people and empower them through independent and safe mobility. The features inbuilt in SmartCane enables them to adjust the sensor mechanism according to height of visually impaired person. SmartCane has two modes of obstacle detection i.e. indoor as well as outdoor. Which ranges from 1.5 – 3 meters [4], that gives an intuitive vibratory pattern to convey obstacle distance information. The user gets aware about the obstacle nearby and could avoid any collision while walking. SmartCane is easily foldable which is very portable.

Currently, the market price of SmartCane is Rs. 3000/- [2] and it had reached more than 20,000 customers.  SmartCane has 40+ channel partners and market penetration in more than 12 countries.

Its design has been registered in 2013. Patented as SmartCane Label which is the trademark of SmartCane. SmartCane has also received a national award from Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in 2015, followed by The Manthan Award and MIT Technology Review in the same year. [4]

This inspiring story shows that Problem is equal to Opportunity, so if you are aware of such similar problems then will you be able to convert those problems into opportunity through your ideas? Join us at Bots ‘N Brain to become an innovation catalyst to make India a better country.

Visit us at botsnbrains.com for more info.


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