Re: Blind Tech Guys Strap Device


Gene
 

I didn’t say anything about the web site indicating this.  I have said that the web site is very insufficient in a message early in the thread.  I sent a message a little later in the thread where I linked to a Blind Abilities podcast in which the tutorial is discussed.  There have been other podcasts where developers have discussed the product.  I didn’t discuss those in later messages, but I think they were linked to by another member.  Did you see any of my messages? 
 
I’m not defending the poorly implemented web site with its not very informative FAQ nor the high pressure announcement on the home page about the introductory sale price nor the claim that the device will replace the cane.  I’m saying that in spite of their mishandling of all this, the product itself must be evaluated on its own terms and the tutorial, from what is said in the podcast, may be adequate.
 
Gene

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Friday, May 07, 2021 10:16 AM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Blind Tech Guys Strap Device
 

 

These are the exact words taken from the Strap web site:


Explore your world with
the Innovation of STRAP

The world’s first total replacement of the white cane.


Nowhere on their web site does the company caution against using the Strap without previous O&M training.   This is a pretty extravagant claim that implies that no white cane is needed, and to assert that you can simply strap this device  onto your chest and navigate safely and independently solely on the basis of a short tutorial is irresponsible.  I can guarantee you that if a blind consumer without any specialized O&M training used the Strap exclusively as an aid for independent mobility and wound up getting seriously injured in an accident, the company would be sued out of existence.  I know a bunch of lawyers who would be licking their chops to take on such a case. 


Gerald



On 5/7/2021 10:20 AM, Gene wrote:
You continue to make straw man arguments or incorrect comparisons.  The device either will or will not be able to replace the cane, something I doubt.  I don’t think it should be presented and advertised in that way.  I don’t think the instructional material should make that claim, if it does.  At most, perhaps it might say that you may find that it can replace the cane and I’m not sure it should make a statement like that.  Perhaps it should say that it can serve to provide valuable additional information when traveling using a cane.  But that has nothing to do with whether the instructional material teaches use of the device effectively. 
 
Gene
-----Original Message-----
Sent: Friday, May 07, 2021 9:04 AM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Blind Tech Guys Strap Device
 

 

Which may explain why none of gthem ever achieved commercial success. Keep in mind that the Strap is being promoted as an alternative to a white cane, not as an adjunct, so to market it to blind consumers as a stand-alone mobility aid and expect them to achieve safe mobility strictly by listening to a short tutorial is a recipe for certain failure.

 

Gerald

 

5/7/2021 9:14 AM, chris judge wrote:

I’ve been racking my old brain to come up with examples of products in the past that came with specialised training. Sorry but I’m drawing a blank.

 

Chris Judge

JAWS Certified,
                          2021

 

From: main@TechTalk.groups.io mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io On Behalf Of Gerald Levy via groups.io
Sent: May 7, 2021 8:59 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Blind Tech Guys Strap Device

 

 

I make that assumption on the basis of someone who is hearing impaired.  Trying to accurately detect traffic flow patterens while wearing hearing aids is difficult enough without the added distraction of vibrations from an electronic mobility aid. Quite frankly, the company is taking a slapdash, lackadaisical attitude with regard to training by expecting purchasers to become adept in the use of the Strap simply by listening to a tutorial.  Do you know anyone who has ever become a successful white cane user simply by listening to a tutorial without any comprehensive personalized trainig from an O&M specialist?

 

Gerald

 

 

 

On 5/7/2021 7:32 AM, Gene wrote:

The podcast I linked to previously includes one of the developers explaining about the tutorial that comes with the device.  it demonstrates, by discussing and causing the device to make them, different haptic occurrences and what they mean.  the person says that after going through the short tutorial, the person learning the device might want to go outdoors using his cane and the device so he/she can learn how to use it in that way. 

 

In another message, you said the haptic vibrations might distract from traffic sounds.  I see no reason to believe that.  On what basis do you make such a statement?  Why should vibrations and other sensations on your chest and other areas of your body interfere with your concentration on hearing.  And if they do at first, anyone with any sense won’t go into traffic until they have learned to experience both without degredation.

 

I remain skeptical that this device will be widely used because of cost and because I am yet to be persuaded that it will give me the kind of detailed information I want such as the height of a curve or of steps in a flight of stairs..  But if independent knowledgeable and credible reviewers say this sort of information is given well, while I don’t think skilled cane or dog users will flock to purchase a 750 dollar device when what they have works well, at the same time, I don’t think learning to use the device and integrating it with cane or dog use will be a problem.  I just doubt very much that it is worth the money.

 

Gene

-----Original Message-----

From: Victor

Sent: Friday, May 07, 2021 6:07 AM

Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Blind Tech Guys Strap Device

 

That’s a good question!

 

Victor



On May 7, 2021, at 3:56 AM, Gerald Levy via groups.io mailto:bwaylimited@... wrote:



 

What kind of personalized training is offered to purchasers of the Strap?  To sell this device without providing one on one training so that the purchaser is taught to wear and use it properly would be highly irresponsible. For such a mobility aid,printed instructions are insufficient. 

 

Gerald

 

 

On 5/7/2021 1:59 AM, Nimer Jaber wrote:

A couple of other things:

 

Orcam does not do obstacle detection, and it requires that you train it to detect specific faces.

 

On Thu, May 6, 2021, 22:42 Victor <victorelawrence@...> wrote:

From  my  research ,  the  best  all-around  mobility  device  seems  to  be  the  Orcam  device.   It  detects  objects, reads print, recognizes faces and more.  It probably doesn't replace the cane, but this Strap device hasn't been around long enough to prove itself.  Orcam has been on the market for a few years and I've read good things about it.

 

If I were to spend money on an advanced mobility device, and if the payments were affordable, Orcam is probably what I'd buy.

 

Victor



On May 6, 2021, at 5:09 PM, James Bentley <bentleyj1952@...> wrote:



The experimental Japanese robotic guide dog also got put down.  It couldn’t handle stairs.

 

James B 

 

From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Gerald Levy via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, May 6, 2021 5:30 PM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Blind Tech Guys Strap Device

 

 

Well, the NYPD's robotic dog didn't work out and had to be put down.  So don't count on a robotic guide dog any time soon.

 

Gerald

 

 

On 5/6/2021 5:39 PM, Pamela Dominguez wrote:

The only kind of guide dog I would ever have would be a robotic one.  Pam.

-----Original Message----- From: Carolyn Arnold
Sent: Thursday, May 06, 2021 5:09 PM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Blind Tech Guys Strap Device

Probably there would be a little less maintenance with robotic guide dog.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@TechTalk.groups.io [mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io] On Behalf Of Pamela Dominguez
Sent: Thursday, May 6, 2021 2:57 PM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Blind Tech Guys Strap Device

I guess that would be good for all the people who have smart phones.  But it still wouldn’t be good for the rest of us.  Pam.

From: Victor mailto:victorelawrence@...
Sent: Thursday, May 06, 2021 11:34 AM
To: main@techtalk.groups.io mailto:main@techtalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Blind Tech Guys Strap Device

If I were wealthy, I might purchase this device just to play with it and provide feedback to the developers. In the meantime, why can’t someone just develop existing smart phone apps to do the same thing? Why can’t we just place our smart phones in a wearable lanyard with the phone's camera facing away from our bodies to accomplish the same things? Supersense and other similar apps could accomplish the same things if these apps are developed a little more. If you want this device, go out and purchase it. As for me, I’m not going to run out and purchase this device just because it’s the latest thing that technology developers think is going to be great. They are probably wrong.

I think there was a recently published article about robotic seeing eye dogs. Honestly, I think such a device might be more useful than this device. Again, I have never wanted a seeing eye dog. However, a robotic seeing Eye dog might be useful.

Just my thoughts,

Victor



On May 6, 2021, at 7:43 AM, chris judge mailto:chrisjudge1967@... wrote:





I’m definitely interested. New tech is always exciting. I wouldn’t pre-order, at least not yet, but if it can do what they claim I may add it to my tech tool kit.



Chris Judge

<https://www.freedomscientific.com/Training/Certification>



From: main@TechTalk.groups.io mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io On Behalf Of Nimer Jaber
Sent: May 6, 2021 11:37 AM
To: main@techtalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Blind Tech Guys Strap Device



Hello Dave,



This device is mounted to the chest for precisely the reason you mention, the issue that people with glasses or with arm bands and such end up moving about, thus making detecting obstacles more difficult. The chest tends to be relatively proportional with the direction the body is moving in.



They also state that Strap will detect cracks in the sidewalk, and assist users in travelling in a straight line. Is it trailing? Sort of, but no. Guide dog users don't trail either, as you know, and use different clues while traveling to get to where they wish to go.



I do have reservations, I don't think that this device, in its first iteration, will be a great cane replacement, but I do think the developers are worth supporting, and I do hope lots of people buy it to provide the devs feedback, and to help this kind of a product move forward. One concern I have is regarding detection of, for instance, doorways where the door is closed, but this can be a challenge, to different degrees and in different ways, with both a cane and a dog. The cane requires trailing which may be a bit difficult if there is, for instance, lots of outdoor displays or furniture, not to mention a bit noisy, and the dog may or may not want to indicate a particular doorway, and may confuse windows with doors.



Each mobility device has its pros and cons, but I do think that a product like this is worth taking notice of, and at least trying and providing meaningful feedback for.



On Thu, May 6, 2021 at 7:23 AM Dave <dlh007@... mailto:dlh007@... > wrote:

Devices like this have been made before.  I recall one such device that
was built into a pair of glasses.  Think they were called Sonar
Glasses.  The user needed to move their Head side to side back and forth
as well as up and down, to have the Beam cover the front, as the person
was walking.


Get to a set of Stairs, and the device would Beep a series of notes like
going up or down a scale.

Now, as far as I am concerned, if someone wants to purchase this type of
devise, go ahead.  If you think it will help you, by all means, go for it.


I can think of one aspect of using a Cane that might be  a problem using
this Strap Device.


I would be curious to try something like this, but at first glance, I
can't see how it could do as good of job as my Cane. But, again, don't
let my thoughts frighten you away.

How would a person Trail, as they are walking along?


Let's say I have one of those situations where I am walking on a walking
area made of pavement, which is blended into the street. On the left,
there is a White line that helps Sighted folks from walking out into the
street.  And on the right is a Seam, or very narrow Crack where the
pavement meets the Cement of a Store Front parking area.


With a Cane I can feel the Texture differences between the pavement and
the Cement, or I might be able to detect the Seam or Crack.  Not sure
how those Sonar device would help in this situation.


And like with the Sonar Glasses of years past, does the operator need to
continuously twist their body from side to side to have the sonar beams
cover what's on the left and right?  That could be an interesting Boogie
Woogie move for someone to do while they are walking.


Personally, I have used a Cane for years, and I did have a guide Dog
for  several years.  I found the Dog was in general, better than using a
Cane, especially in deep Snow and packed Ice conditions.


But, the up keep and care of the Dog, and the reactions to the Dog
others would exhibit were down sides for me.  And when my Dog was
retired, I decided to return to using a Cane.


I have good cane skills so going back was not an issue, unless it Snowed
four or five inches over night, and I now had to wait for others to walk
on the walk ways to make a path I could follow with a Cane.


However, if anyone has this device, or had something like it in the
past, I would be curious to hear of your experiences with it.



Grumpy Dave












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