While seeing eye dogs have served the blind faithfully throughout the years, will technology one day replace them? Sebastian Ritzler, a student from Germany from the Muthesius Academy of Art and Design in Kiel, Germany, recently developed an interactive guiding system for the blind known as Mygo that comes in the form factor of a cool, rolling white cane. The Mygo cane itself is supposed to be made out of some sort of super tough waterproof material and will be height adjustable so that it suits both males and females. What makes the Mygo cane stand out from ordinary ‘dumb’ canes is the inclusion of a system with a smart sensor and camera combo which is capable of measuring the ground area accurately in real time while pushing auditory feedback to a headset. The integration of a mini wheel at the tip of the cane also helps greatly as it has a hub motor which provides intuitive feedback via the grip, doubling up as a steering guide which has a battery life of approximately 6 hours.
All that technology crammed inside will definitely result in an excellent maneuvering system, particularly so in difficult weather. The million dollar question would be this – will such a technologically advanced cane actually replace the function of a seeing eye dog? The answer will most probably be in the negative since the positive social effect of an obedient and loving service dog can never be replaced by a cold, waterproof cane. Unless, of course, you’re the Daredevil who opens a can of whoop ass with his stick.
There is no final product to date since the device has not yet entered production, and the creator is currently looking forward to an affordable option. Conservative estimates draw up a retail price of approximately 150 Euros, while the IDEA site claims that this will be available for as little as 15 Euros although I am highly skeptical about that amount considering the technology crammed inside. How much do you think is fair value for the Mygo?