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'Intelligent' Shoe Helps Blind People Avoid Obstacles

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Innomake shoes.

Computer scientists have created an 'intelligent' shoe that helps blind and visually-impaired people avoid multiple obstacles.

Credit: Lunghammer/TU Graz

Computer scientists at Austria's Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) and medical technology maker Tec-Innovation have designed a shoe with ultrasonic sensors that can detect obstacles and emit vibrations to warn blind and visually impaired wearers.

The sensors are attached to the toe of each InnoMake shoe, which will sell for £2,700 ($3,759) per pair, and the vibrations become faster the closer the wearer gets to an obstacle.

Tec-Innovation's Markus Raffer said the sensors detect obstacles up to four meters (13 feet) off, with the device able to identify the nature of an obstacle and its directional path, especially if it is downward-facing.

From The Daily Mail (U.K.)
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