Those who are blind often discover that much of the world is set up for the sighted. The ways in which infrastructure, entertainment, products, etc. are all set up reinforce this. While tools and systems have been set up to make more of the world accessible, there’s still so much that can be done.
The dedicated team behind the Sunu band is trying to fill a huge gap to empower blind people while they move. The sun is primarily a band fitted with a device that fires off ultrasonic waves, delivering haptic feedback of objects that are at torso and head level. This better informs them of incoming obstacles. In conjunction with a cane, this means that the entire height of the individual is protected.
In addition, the Sunu band operates as an item finder when working with a Sunu Tag, a small Bluetooth device that connects to important or frequently misplaced items. These two features together can help the blind be more independent in their everyday lives, a goal that the team behind Sunu would like $50,000 by December 31st, 2015 to achieve. A Sunu band, a Sunu Tag, and a wireless charging station all go for $199, with an expected ship date of May 2016.
The Sunu band is a clever way to leverage the idea of echolocation, the same system by which animals such as bats to navigate, as a way for blind people to have increased autonomy. An emergency button of some sort would be a simple addition that would go far in making this a necessity rather than a possibility.