Researchers working on "virtual canes" for the blind

Virtual Cane

Researchers at the University of California at Santa Cruz are developing what they call a "virtual white cane," to aid the visually impaired in situations where an actual cane might not be practical. Combining a laser pointer, digital camera and a specialized processor, the cane would analyze surfaces and provide auditory feedback on obstacles and surfaces such as stairs and curbs. The UC researchers are working with working with the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, a San Francisco nonprofit.