Snapdeal Partners With IIT-Delhi to Sell ‘SmartCanes’ for Visually Impaired

Smartcane device Snapdeal

Snapdeal, one of the largest eCommerce players in India, has announced partnership with IIT-Delhi enabling them to sell SmartCane on their platform. Priced at Rs. 3,500, Smartcanes are electronic walking aid devices for visually impaired.

A SmartCane solves the challenges which are faced by visually impaired people with traditional white cane, which cannot detect overhanging objects like tree branches, sign boards, open glass windows, etc. It empowers persons with visual impairment through independent and safe mobility.

Here’s how a SmartCane works:

  • An electronic travel aid which fits on top fold of the white cane
  • Enhances white cane’s capability by detecting objects from knee to head height in front of a person
  • Uses ultrasonic ranging to detect obstacles, and conveys distance information to the end users through distinct vibratory patterns
  • Helps users to avoid collisions with over-hanging and protruding objects, such as tree branches, signboards, underside of parked vehicles, open glass windows, thereby enabling them to navigate in different social settings with safety and confidence.
  • Informs about presence of objects before actually touching the object with the cane and thus helps in preventing unwanted contact

Smartcanes are currently used by nearly 10,000 users in India.

M Balakrishnan, Professor at IIT Delhi and Smartcane Team Lead said, “It is an outcome of several years of joint effort of academia, industry and user community to make in India an affordable device that conforms to international quality standards. The online availability of such assistive technology products will go a long way in empowering persons with visual disabilities,”

Snapdeal Senior Vice President (Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives) Tony Navin said, “We are confident that this product will be well received and our customers will also come forward to donate SmartCane to NGOs working with persons with visual impairment,”

As part of this partnership, potential donors can also donate Smartcane to the needy through Snapdeal’s recently launched Snapdeal Sunshine program. Users can make a Smartcane purchase on Snapdeal and it will be directly delivered to Saksham NGO, who will then hand it over to a visually impaired person who has a need for this cane!

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