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IMET HELPS NEW LED CANE LIGHT THE WAY FOR VISION-IMPAIRED PEDESTRIANS
What appears to be an ordinary cane is actually “StreetLight”, an LED-assisted aid for the sight impaired or others who have problems navigating in darkness. The product will be available in early spring.
SOUTHAMPTON, PA-

At first glance, it doesn’t appear to be much different from an ordinary walking cane. But after activating the switch below the handle, this apparently simple device pierces darkness by generating an intense beam of LED light that instills confidence with each step taken by persons with limited vision or mobility.

The “StreetLight™” cane was jointly developed by IMET Corporation, a product development, engineering and manufacturing company; Technical Vision Inc., the marketers and patent owners; and the College of Education and Rehabilitation at Salus University of Elkins Park, PA, the research source. The cane is said to enhance depth perception and contrast sensitivity to allow visually impaired pedestrians reduce the risk of injury from tripping or falling. When originally conceived in 2011, there were similar devices available, but they all lacked the lighting intensity that TVI’s CEO Lorraine H. Keller, Ph. D. knew was vital for those with low vision.

IMET, following the guidance of its President, Tom Krol, conducted field studies at night with actual low-vision volunteers. Varying intensities, spectra and angles of illumination were tested to identify the optimal configuration for navigation in total darkness. IMET engineers then designed the electronics with the goal being to save weight and space. This was achieved by using ordinary AA batteries and a circuit board design housing subminiature surface-mount components that also increased efficiency by almost doubling the power delivered to the LED.

The result, to coin a phrase, was like night and day. The new version of StreetLight™ emits a broad radius of white light enabling users to anticipate obstacles, enjoying greater confidence and a new freedom of movement while walking. The product is expected to be available online and at medical supply outlets by early spring of 2013.
 

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