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 Photo of the UltraCane handle

The UltraCane is modeled on the traditional long white cane, but the difference is in the electronic handle, which works by emitting ultrasonic waves to locate obstacles in the user’s vicinity. This includes objects at shoulder/head height, for example, wing mirrors on vans and Lorries, overhanging tree branches etc.

It gives tactile feedback to the user through two vibrating buttons, which have been ergonomically positioned on the handle. The two buttons, when vibrating, indicate the direction of the obstacle; the frequency of the vibration lets the user know the proximity of the obstacle. This type of feedback stimulates a spatial ‘mind map’ in the brain, enabling the user to obtain information about the layout of their immediate environment and surroundings. Essentially using the UltraCane offers a protective hazard ‘envelope’ around the user.