In a world designed for the sighted, visually impaired People encounter numerous challenges. They are frequently unable to work or carry out routine duties. A solution to make their lives easier has been developed using technology developed by a French corporation. Laurence Jamet, who has been blind since birth, decided to put the technology to the test. Jamet is walking down a Paris sidewalk when she comes upon a garbage can that is blocking her route.
When she hears a beep in her ears, she makes a stride to the right to avoid the impediment and continues on her path. The electronic device she is wearing has sensors that detect obstacles in the user’s path and provide them with the information they need to avoid them. Jamet has been getting around with a white stick for years. It allows her to scan for obstructions at ground level, but it does not prevent her from colliding with anything that protrude above her, such as a truck’s open door.
That gap is filled by the device, which attaches to the top of her cane and provides information to her via headphones. “I get hit a lot less, so I’m not as stressed,” Jamet said of her experience with the device. The main issue, according to Francois Birot, co-founder of Gosense, the company that developed the device, was not to overwhelm the user with information. The device is programmed to calculate the user’s trajectory and only alert them to obstacles that are directly in their way.
If the impediment is ahead of them but to their right, an alarm will ring in their right ear, indicating that they must take a left detour. Nearly 400 People in France have used the device so far, with a few units also in use in Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, and Italy. It costs 2,000 euros ($2,348), although most of the cost is covered by local government agencies in France for qualified People.