Thanks Joe, a well thought out and balanced message. We may agree or not agree with their approach but we should applaud and encourage innovation IMHO. I certainly don't think it is some kind of scam. Personally, I don't think it will ever replace the cane but would certainly consider it another enhancement from what I've read so far and I wish them luck with it. I may even try it myself some day if it becomes a little more affordable but don't think it will replace my cane. Perhaps I'd change my opinion if I ever give it a try.
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From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Joe Orozco
Sent: Thursday, May 6, 2021 7:44 AM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Blind Tech Guys Strap Discount
Love the thought-provoking discussion! I'm not opposed to innovation.
Yet, having participated in several user testing groups where the hope was to improve navigation for the blind, I see years later that none of them endured beyond the prototype. I won't pretend to be intelligent enough to understand why that is, but there is something to be said for old methods like cane or dog that are fundamental for any future technology to be successful. A guide dog user cannot, in my opinion, be truly successful if they are not a strong cane user. I would assume an individual would not fully excel with innovative technology if they could not navigate successfully with a dog. So maybe the aim should not be to replace proven methods, but rather, enhance them. It would go a long way in earning the trust of the blind community and better help the developers understand what the actual pain points might be for the blind traveler. I do applaud the forward thinking. I see nothing wrong with pushing the envelope.
On 5/6/21, val and david paul <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Well said Gene!
On 06/05/2021 08:46, Gene wrote:
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.
*From:* Gene <mailto:email@example.com>
*Sent:* Thursday, May 06, 2021 2:39 AM
*To:* main@TechTalk.groups.io <mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io>
*Subject:* Re: [TechTalk] Blind Tech Guys Strap Discount 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
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.
*From:* Nimer Jaber <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
*Sent:* Thursday, May 06, 2021 2:16 AM
*To:* email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
*Subject:* Re: [TechTalk] Blind Tech Guys Strap Discount 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
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 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 <email@example.com
Isn’t it interesting how the cane is not respected and disparaged
because blind people use it? I don’t see people trying to
eliminate cars because unassisted movement is a right and is
I’d like to see how expensive this device is. I’d like to see how
long it runs on a charge. I’d like to see if it gives me
information about my nearby environment such as where a doorway is
to a building or where there is grass to my left and where that
grass is interrupted by a driveway, which may be necessary for me
to find with my cane to know where I turn to move toward a
building and the counting of driveways and walkways may be
necessary for me to know when I’m turning at the right place.
Device after device has been made and they have none of them been
widely adopted. Maybe there is a reason.
Blindness is considered a tragedy and the ways blind people do
things are often disparaged, guilt by association. Some ways
blind people do things are neutral, some inferior, some superior.
Will it be replaced at some point by something superior? Who
knows. but its persistence and wide use should give those who
chaff at the bit to eliminate it pause.
As G.K. Chesterton said:
“Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put
*From:* Marco Curralejo <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
*Sent:* Thursday, May 06, 2021 1:39 AM
*To:* TechTalk@groups.io <mailto:TechTalk@groups.io>
*Subject:* Re: [TechTalk] Blind Tech Guys Strap Discount
Three years in the making, STRAP is an innovative, wearable device
that fits over the chest and is designed to detect any type of
obstacle. STRAP’s vast array of sensors work by sending real-time
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with haptic language vibrations. Designed for all ages and shipped
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At STRAP Technologies we believe autonomy and independence are
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for a demo of the product to hit your ears sometime soon.
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