See Through Sound, How The Blind Can Use Sonar
Although there have been a number of prototypes aimed to replace the cane that blind people use to get around, this one is by far the most interesting. The Virtual Cane was invented from a Hebrew University and uses sonar to detect objects.
The user is required to move the hand held device in a similar motion as a normal cane, except the good thing about this device is that it won’t hit any dogs or pedestrians walking by.
It is conceptually, very easy to understand, if the device detects an object in front of it, a vibration goes off and the user simply walks through the area where there is no vibration. The cane can recognize physical objects up to 40 feet from the user.
The researchers claim that the new technology is highly intuitive and can be learned within a few minutes making it the perfect unobtrusive device to allow blind persons to go about their lives.
The battery life works for 12 hours and the device itself is rather light weight. The device has been patented and is expected to cost no more than $100. Check out the video for a demonstration of the unit!