Laser Walking Stick for the blind is perhaps one science fair away from existence

Covert Affairs

Scene from Covert Affairs featuring Auggie (played by Christopher Gorham) using a laserpoint walking stick. Image via http://www.smallscreenscoop.com, ph. by Steve Wilkie/USA Network

Last week’s post on the Braille Sense Plus QWERTY Notetaker was inspired by its use on the new USA Network series “Covert Affairs”. In the show, the technology used by Auggie, a CIA agent blinded during his tour in Iraq. But this certainly isn’t the only cool bit of technology that Auggie (played by Christpher Gorham) has used on the show, and writers and producers of the show promise it won’t be the last.

Another assistive device that Auggie uses is a laser pointer walking stick. This nifty piece of gadgetry is a laser ranging system (like radar but using lasers). Lasering out in a grid pattern, the laser detects objects, obstacles, stairs, curbs, etc., and relays the information to the user with audible tones and tactile information, such a vibrations. The laser ranging system works by sending out a pulse of beams that time how long it takes the pulses to reflect back [Source].

Sounds like quite an amazing little bit of technology doesn’t it? Well, it is…or, at least it would be if it existed. As Christopher Gorham reveals in in this interview with Media Blvd Magazine. That is to say, Auggie’s cool laser walking cane doesn’t exist, but the technology is there.

Laser Cane

The Laser Cane, available at http://www.activeforever.com

For instance, the Laser Cane (shown left) is one of the first types of walking canes to begin utilizing laser technology. Designed specifically to adress the walking needs of individuals with various neurological conditions, such as: Parkinson’s, ALS, Stroke, PSP, Multiple Sclerosis, Brain Injuries, Balance Disorders, and MSA, the Laser Cane utilizes laser technology to provide a target to step over, helping to overcome freezing episodes. What this means is, the beam creates a visual “obstacle” which forces the individual to life their foor up and over the beam, reducing the individuals tendency to drag, shuffle, or otherwise teeter on their feet.

But this Laser Cane doesn’t provide any assistance for the blind and certainly isn’t anything like the device that Auggie uses, right. So where’s that good stuff? Its existence is perhaps in the very near future with the laser walking cane developed by three Palestinian teenagers from the rufugee city Nablus. Their incredible invention can be seen in the news story below:

A “life-changing” invention from the West Bank, posted with vodpod

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4 comments so far

  1. Baby Kleidung on

    What a nice post. I really love reading these types of articles. I can’t wait to see what others have to say.

  2. Beula Sanders on

    Wow! Thank you! I always wanted to write in my site something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog?

  3. Gar on

    where can I buy one?

    • DSS of GCSC on

      The laser walking stick as used in the USA series “Covert Affairs” doesn’t exist. It’s gadgetry was created specifically for use in the show. However, the walking stick that is shown further down in the post is a cane that has a laser sensor on it to aid persons with gait problems extra guidance when navigating curbs or uneven terrain. That walking stick can be bought at http://www.activeforever.com/. Hope this helps.


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