284 million people are visually impaired worldwide. Imagine not knowing what colors look like or having to walk everywhere with a white cane. For people who live with visual impairments, this is a part of every day life.
At IMRIC, we are training people to ‘see’ with sound and walk without the use of the traditional white cane. Training in sensory substitution and the development of the virtual cane gives new hope to people who are learning to ‘see’ in ways they never thought possible.
Jerusalem, Israel, June 21, 2011 – Yissum Research Development Company Ltd., the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, presented today at the Israeli Presidential Conference, a virtual cane that will significantly improve the orientation and mobility of sight-impaired people. This new device can assist blind people in estimating the distance and height of various obstacles. The invention was registered as a patent by Yissum, which is now seeking strategic partners for further development.
The "virtual cane" incorporates several sensors that estimate the distance between the user and the object it is pointed at.
The blind and visually impaired could be able to toss away their white canes or at least “see” better with them, thanks to a “virtual cane” developed by Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers and patented by Yissum, the university’s research and development company.
Over the years, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has developed a reputation for producing some of the world’s best researchers, scientists and technologies.
And Hebrew U’s research development company called Yissum, which is the university’s technology transfer arm, has been working for nearly five decades to turn scientific theory into practice, allowing the rest of the world to benefit from the science.