The B.A.T. Buckle is a device that gives blind users a better way to navigate their immediate surroundings. Using laser rangefinders as proximity detectors, this innovative buckle gives feedback through varying intensities of vibrations. Having the device fully contained within a fashionable belt buckle eliminates the stigma of using the traditional white cane and improves self confidence. The result is increased self esteem and independence in maneuvering. Receiving immediate responses to their environment allows users to more easily integrate into society.
My grandmother is on the onset of macular degeneration. As she is slowly loosing her ability to see, I wonder about the world of darkness that she is entering. When my aunt was visiting from France, we were discussing the students that live near the blind institute she lives near. She noticed the lack of technology used in helping the students. When receiving the task of creating an "interactive wearable" for my design and innovation class, I knew that I had the chance to design a solution that would lead to a brighter future for my grandmother and the visually impaired across the world.
Through thorough research the concept was developed by taking a human centered approach to the current problems that the visually impaired have with their current navigation devices. Many different scenarios were developed to help understand how the new device would work. A proof of concept prototype was created and programmed using sonar sensors and an Arduino board. Finally a visualization of what the final product would look like was made.