By Andrew Liszewski
While this might look like a concept design for the next version of the Nintendo Wiimote, it’s actually a ‘smart’ wand designed to replace the traditional long stick used by the visually impaired. Created by Jin Woo Han it uses a sensor on the front to detect nearby objects and provides feedback about how far away they are with varying levels of vibration.
And even though it’s not illustrated too well in the photos, the wand includes a tactile strip where you place your thumb that will actually indicate the position of objects around you. Both of these methods of feedback are considered much better than using audio cues which can be easily missed if the user happens to be walking where there’s too much background noise. Unfortunately the Tactile Wand is just a concept right now, and given the time needed to perfect the design and the thorough testing that will be required, we probably won’t see it hitting the market anytime soon.