eCommerce platform Snapdeal will now be selling ‘SmartCane’ , a walking cane used by visually challenged people, on its online portal. An outcome of partnership between Snapdeal, IIT Delhi and Phoenix Medical Solutions, currently the cane is priced at Rs. 3,500.
A convenient and advanced replacement of the usual white canes, SmartCane ensures independent mobility, allows the user to find his or her path easily and reduce awkwardness and injury. Using ultrasonic ranging, SmartCane helps predict above knee-level obstacles and therefore, ensures safety against collisions. The device is already used by nearly 10,000 people in the country.
The cane is a joint project by the Saksham Trust and IIT Delhi which was then manufactured by Phoenix Medical Systems Pvt. Ltd. In an interview to NDTV last year, the spokesperson for Saksham, Supriya Das said, “In addition it has an ergonomic grip and the detection distance has been increased from the old 0.5 metres to three metres now.” Previously, the cane was priced at Rs 3,000 but now faces a hike of Rs 500. However, looking at the technology used, the price seems justified making an affordable device for all in need.
As a part of the partnership, potential donors can also choose to donate SmartCane via Snapdeal Sunshine platform, where the product will be shipped directly to NGO partner Saksham that works for empowering persons with blindness.
"We are confident that this product will be well received and our customers will also come forward to donate SmartCane to NGOs working with persons with visual impairment," Snapdeal Senior Vice President (Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives) Tony Navin said in a statement.
The project was initiated as a class project, which has now become an affordable tech device for people with visual disability. M Balakrishnan, Professor at IIT Delhi and Smartcane Team Lead said, "It is an outcome of several years of joint effort of academia, industry and user community to make in India an affordable device that conforms to international quality standards. The online availability of such assistive technology products will go a long way in empowering persons with visual disabilities."
This is a great initiative by Snapdeal as they are not only providing a unique product through its platform but also a product that will highly benefit the visually challenged people making their walks safe and secure.
(With inputs from PTI)