Innovation That Matters

Wearable provides haptic feedback for the partially sighted

Sport & Fitness

Buzzclip is an ultrasound wearable that provides the user with haptic warnings of upcoming obstacles.

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For those living with blindness or partial sight, there are a number of high-tech ultrasound walking canes on the market, which can alert users of any obstacles at chest or head height, as well as on the ground. But these devices are expensive — the Ultracane for example costs GBP 635. Now, the Buzzclip is an affordable option. The ultrasound wearable can be utilized in combination with a traditional cane to help users navigate indoor and outdoor space.


The Buzzclip easily attaches to the wearer’s clothing — it can be worn on the neckline, sleeve, waist or arm. Users then choose a range of one or two meters, and the device uses ultrasound technology to detect obstacles in the wearers path and warn them through haptic feedback. The device vibrates at increasing frequency and intensity as the wearer approaches an obstacle, and provides three quick vibrations when something is at arms length from them. Each Buzzclip can monitor a distance of one meter in height, so a clip worn on the chest will provide warning for anything approaching the top half of the body.

Buzzclip is an excellent solution for those who are partially sighted and don’t want use a cane or guide dog, but are not always able to detect obstacles. The device is currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo, pledgers can pre-order a Buzzclip for USD 129 for estimated delivery in March 2016. Could this technology be used in virtual reality gaming too?



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