Re: Blind Tech Guys Strap Discount
I just listened to the podcast. it contains discussion and information that should be on the web site and that should be in the realease but isn’t or isn’t developed well. I don’t know how useful the product will be. Nothing was said about getting information such as being able to count driveways and walkways, which is important. It may be that the user can get enough information about the hight of steps or a curve but I can’t be sure from the description. Information about such things is given and from the discription of people moving using the device, it sounds as though the information allows you to know hights well, but I don’t know that.
I note with interest that on the podcast, they discuss how people will know you are blind. They are considering that question and one thing they have done is develop an armband. It wasn’t described so I have no idea how it alerts people that you are blind. Considering the universal knowledge of the white cane and I believe having one confers legal protection in case of traffic accident, I am far from convinced that this important advantage will be addressed at all adequately by the device for years or much longer. The law would have to catch up and the public would have to be very aware of some sort of obvious and very easily observed new symbol. So regardless of how well this device works, I don’t see people not using their canes for a long time or at any rate, not conspicuously displaying them where it matters to be seen as a blind person.
Things like GPS systems are of obvious value. I am not convinced that this product’s value anywhere nearly equals its price.
As time goes on, if I hear convincing information, I’ll consider it and I may change my mind. For now, there are times when an old simple technology is not worth replacing by a complex, very expensive one when the old one works well.
Also, there is the question of whether my first reaction was too critical. I don’t think so. there are going to be a lot of people with similar reactions because we’ve seen it all before, over and over, for decades. Enormous hype and not much to show for it. These people need to know their market. They would be wise to use less hype, do more real discussion and explaining on their web site and in their ;publicity releases and not to harp on the first device to completely replace the cane. That sort of thing is exactly what puts a lot of blind people on guard. And many blind people consider the cane to be a symbol of independence and competence. Empahsizing that this product is the first full replacement for the cane is going to rub a lot of people the wrong way. And it won’t replace the cane even if it can. A lot of blind people, evenif they use the device will still conspicuously carry canes for reasons I’ve discussed, unless and until some new universal method of identification is established.
Sent: Thursday, May 06, 2021 4:24 AM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Blind Tech Guys Strap Discount
Here is a podcast from Blind Abilities. It is an interview with two of the developers of Strap.
If you find points implausible, just sayihng so doesn’t make your case. What are they? Why are they?
The reason why you thankfully didn’t get robbed is because your lucky, not because you are blind.
Honestly, this is getting ridiculous and you keep putting up points which are just not really that plausible, in my opinion.
I’m not wasting my time on this thread any longer.
main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of
A competent cane user knows how to swing a cane. That is one of the first things he/she is taught and a good instructor emphasizes correct technique. It becomes pretty much automatic, varied at times if necessary.
There have been devices for decades that alert blind people to obstacles above the level a cane covers. I haven’t looked into them so I don’t know if this device does any better. While I would like such coverage, I have had so little problem with such higher obstacles that I haven’t pursued the option. But I have no objedction to such a device. I objectt to trying to replace the cane and to trying to make you not look blind. Also, I didn’t mention that automobile drivers may be more careful if they see a cane or a dog. I would feel safer crossing a street identified as a blind person.
Also, I might be safer. Mhy brother tells the story about one evening when my brothers’ family and I were out to dinner. Some gang members looked as though they might come over to rob us. When they saw my cane, the head of the group signaled not to do so. So I may be safer from crime if people know I’m blind.
I’m sorry, but I completely disagree.
A cane will only cover you from your belly button down and you’d better hope that you are swinging the right way, otherwise it doesn’t even do that.
If we have no innovation, this means that we are happy to just continue as we have done with an aid which has been around for over 100 years.
Imagine if we took the same approach with all other innovations in society, no phones, no new treatments, no advancements in any technology, no cars, no eftpos or other similar machines. For the sake of your argument, let’s remove anything that has been innovative since the cane has been a part of our lives and go back to the way it all was before that, because having some forward thinking and innovation doesn’t matter to you.
As I said before, do I think that this will replace the cane? No. What I’m saying is that we need to move forward from what we currently have and not just thumb our noses at a company that is trying to move things forward in a different way.
Finally, I go through at least 3 or 4 canes per year, so $250 is quite reasonable for my opinion. Should those who pay over $5000 for a braille display or other products not do so because of cost? Your argument on cost is ridiculous, in my opinion. Perhaps your one of these individuals that goes through a cane every five years. Who knows.
And I just thought of another reason that this device is a bad idea. It is safer to be seen and known to be a blind person. Perhaps you will get assistance more easily when you want it such as when crossing a street with turning arrows and a lot of high speed traffic. [Perhaps you will have an easier time getting directions. When I walk into a store, if service people see the cane, they will offer help. How will they know I am blind as easily and as quickly if it isn’t made clear by a cane or a dog? If you don’t have a cane, people won’t know you are blind. This strikes me as an attempt to hide a person’s blindness. I don’t want to hide it. I am what I am and it shouldn’t be hidden.
The car and horse analogy doesn’t apply. The advantages are obvious of a car. What advantage does the cane replacement company offer? Only one, that you can travel hands free. I don’t consider that worht spending 250 dollars for.
You yourself say that a dog gives you less information about your environment. People may be satisfied with that and that’s their choice but I really doubt that you are going to find many competent cane users who will substitute a 250 dollar device for a thirty-five dollar device when the 35 dollar device gives them more information. and people who use a dog may have reasons they are willing to accept less information. There are reasons people prefer dogs. But this is not a discussion about replacing dogs with this device. The device is offered as a replacement for the cane. I doubt many competent cane users will pay 250 dollars for a device that probably gives them less information.
I have no trouble carrying what I want to carry with one hand using a cane. I use larger bags. Others may prefer a back pack.
As far as things like the cane breaking or a tip falling off, I’ve been traveling with canes for about fifty years and such things have almost never happened. And you have no basis to assume that this device will be as reliable. What if you forget to charge it. Is the battery user replaceable? If not, how much will it cost to replace it?
And any prudent blind person who doesn’t use a dog should be a skilled cane user anyway so that in case of trouble with the device, he/she can switch to a low tech device that works very well while the problem is corrected. I have an emergency cane. Having two canes costs me perhaps sixty dollars. People aren’t going to have two of these devices when they cost 250 dollars.
As I said, I don’t object to a device that informs me about obstacles above the lefvel of the cane. I do object to the attitude that the cane should be replaced and likely by something inferior.
This post is my opinion, and is not affiliated with Strap or any other entity. All opinions in this message are my own.
People said the same thing that you're saying about horses, too. And yet, we are now driving cars.
Guide dogs already take away much of what the cane gives you, and dog users are quite content being dog users. With a dog, blind people go around obstacles, they don't interact with every obstacle in their path.
Does it count when a blind person disparages the cane and says that we need more innovation in the space to get rid of the bloody thing? Because I am one of those blind people.
Does it count that I want to be able to travel unencumbered with both hands free?
Does it count if I want to not worry about whether someone trips over my cane and breaks it? Or if the tip flies off the cane?
Does it matter if I don't want to worry about what happens to my upper body because that trusty cane doesn't protect it while I'm walking? Because believe me, running into scaffolding bloody hurts, and yes, I've done it.
Does it matter if I want to be able to actually walk in a straight line? Because, short of tapping against a wall or grass line, there isn't a way to do it with a cane.
Does it matter if I wish to traverse through a crowded downtown area, or any crowded environment without running into many things?
Does it matter if I want to be inconspicuous, and not be asked whether I, a poor blind man, require assistance to wipe my ass? Because that is essentially what happens to every single blind person I know. I am not approached about my work. I am not approached about my appearance. I am not approached about my shoes. I am not approached about anything except my blindness and someone wanting to help me because they think I am making a mistake trying to cross a street.
So, sorry, but we definitely need a cane replacement, in my view, and any blind person disagreeing is, frankly, a complete and utter fool. And, I would ask blind people to support the effort instead of shitting on it, because developers should be encouraged to innovate, not be discouraged by stupid posts like the one I've just read.
Does that mean that Strap will, indeed, replace the cane? I don't know, probably not. But it's a much better attempt than we've seen so far, with others trying to reinvent the cane by making it heavier and adding sensors to it.
So, I would say, support the effort. Stand by and watch, if you wish. But don't get in the way of what is possibly the most progress we've seen in a long time. We have cars that zoom on the roads autonomously. We have planes that can take off and land themselves. We have trains that can do the same, with minimal to no human interaction. We have probes going into deep space sending back pictures of Mars. And yet, the best the blind people can do, is fight to use their canes, and say they're proud of their canes.
I say again, if you don't or can't help, and you don't support the effort, with the nicest and most respectful intent possible, get the hell out of the way, sit down and shut up, and don't stop innovation and progress.
And with that, I will no longer engage in this thread, because I can see that more stupidity will be posted, and more people will come out proud to be carrying a stick.
On Wed, May 5, 2021 at 11:57 PM Gene <gsasner@...> wrote:
Thank you, and have a great day!