New ‘smart cane’ helps visually impaired people navigate above chest obstacles

New ‘smart cane’ helps visually impaired people navigate above chest obstacles
Creators say the cane detects obstacles higher than chest level and integrates with smart phones to help visually impaired people navigate without having to carry the smartphone in the hand.

LAS VEGAS (CNN) - Your cell phone may get an upgrade every year or two, but the cane is getting its first upgrade since it was invented.

According to the World Health Organization there are over 250 million visually impaired people globally.

About 50 million of those visually impaired people use canes to help them walk.

With the traditional cane, visually impaired individuals face problems like coming across above chest obstacles.

One company says it solves this problem through smartphone integration.

The WeWALK smart cane is on display at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show and has an ultrasonic sensor to detect above chest obstacles.

When it detects one, it vibrates to warn its user.

The WeWALK cane can also pair with smart phones and is integrated with voice assistant and Google Maps.

When a phone is paired with WeWALK application, actions such as getting navigation can be performed on WeWALK easily without taking the phone at hand.

It’s on sale now for about $350.

Copyright 2019 CNN. All rights reserved.