Cyprus Mail
Health Tech & Science

Rango, the gadget that helps visually-impaired people dodge street hazards

meet the gadget that helps visually impaired people dodge street hazards
Laurence Jamet, Parisian woman blind since birth, walks with a cane and the electronic device, called Rango, invented by the Lyon-based startup Gosense, which uses sound and augmented reality to warn visually impaired people before a collision can occur, during an interview with Reuters in Paris, France, September 21, 2021. Picture taken September 21, 2021. REUTERS/Manuel Ausloos

As she walks down a Paris sidewalk, visually-impaired Frenchwoman Laurence Jamet approaches a garbage can blocking her path. A beep sounds in her ears to warn her of the obstacle, she takes a step to the right to dodge it, and continues on her way.

Jamet is using an electronic device, developed by a French company, that uses sensors to spot an obstacle in the path of a user and gives them the information they need to go around it.

Blind since birth, Jamet has for years used a white stick to get around. It allows her to scan at ground level for obstacles, but it does not stop her colliding with objects sticking out above, like for example the open door of a truck.

“It’s not unusual for me to come home with a bloodied forehead,” said Jamet.

meet the gadget that helps visually impaired people dodge street hazards
 September 21, 2021. Image;REUTERS/Manuel Ausloos

The device, which mounts on the top of her cane and sends information to her via headphones, fills that gap. “I get hit much less, and so I am less stressed,” Jamet said of her experience using the gadget.

According to Francois Birot, co-founder of Gosense, the firm that developed the device, the big challenge was to not overload the user with information.

The device is designed to work out the user’s trajectory, and only let them know about obstacles directly in their path. If the obstacle is ahead of them but to the right, the alarm will sound in their right ear, letting them know they need to take a detour to the left.

To date, the device is being used by nearly 400 people in France, with a handful of models in use in Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and Italy.

It sells for 2,000 euros ($2,348), though eligible people in France have most of the cost reimbursed by local government agencies.

Related posts

Goodbye Columbus: Vikings crossed the Atlantic 1,000 years ago

Reuters News Service

TikTok tells US lawmakers it does not give information to China’s government

Reuters News Service

Measures taken to ease problems at Makarios hospital ICU

Evie Andreou

Internet infrastructure company RightForge to host Trump’s TRUTH Social- Axios

Reuters News Service

Early flu cases indicate possibility of severe upcoming season for elderly, says ECDC

Staff Reporter

Focal point for climate change at the top of our world, and agenda

CM Guest Columnist