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---- PROTOTYPE --------- PURPOSE: To create a prototype of a “Smart Cane” that can read and interpret electronic navigation tags installed between buildings to aid a person who is blind or with low-vision navigate toward his or her destination with greater ease. Designed by an engineering professor and five students at Central Michigan University, The Smart Cane uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFI) technology similar to what retailers use to protect products from theft. The Smart Cane contains an ultrasonic sensor which is paired with a miniature navigational system located in a messenger-style bag worn across the shoulder. In combination with identification tags placed between two objects (i.e. buildings) the Smart Cane then alerts the user by audio alerts (through a speaker on the bag strap) when the system detects an obstacle. Moreover the system tells the user which direction to move to avoid said obstacle. Future adaptations include expanding the system to a wider area and GPS integration. TITLE: Students create cane with e-tags to guide blind. AUTHOR: David N. Goodman. WEBSITE: MSNBC.com at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32276381/ns/technology_and_science-innovation.
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