Smart Cane Detects Raised Objects

SmartCane Device is an electronic travel aid for visually impaired people that fits atop a white cane and helps detect raised objects within a range of three meters.

SmartCane Device uses ultrasonic ranging to detect obstacles, conveying distance information to the user through distinct vibratory patterns and helping the user avoid collisions with objects such as tree branches, signboards, parked vehicles, and open glass windows. This technology enables visually impaired users to navigate in different social settings with safety and confidence.
The device alerts users about the presence of objects before objects touch the cane, helping to prevent unsafe collisions. The device was co-created with the user community, and was designed with the primary concern of meeting the mobility needs of the visually challenged in developing countries. Presently, almost 15,000 people in India alone use the device.

Relevance of solution

According to WHO, 285 million people worldwide are visually challenged, with more than 90% of them in low-income settings.1 SmartCane Device empowers these people by enabling them to detect obstacles before collision, reducing injuries and enhancing mobility.

Triple Bottom Line


As the SmartCane Device is a modular addition to a standard white cane, it saves resources as users need not purchase an entirely new cane.


SmartCane Device allows people with blindness to have safe, dignified, and independent mobility.


The market price of a SmartCane Device is $50, making them largely affordable.


  1. WHO. “Visual Impairment and Blindness.” (2014)