It may be a joystick, but this device is no game. Six years in the making, Alex Deans has completed his device. Deans calls the device an iAid, which is a unique tool designed to improve the way people with visual impairments get around in their communities. At the early age of 12, Dean observed a visually impaired woman trying to cross a busy street and knew with his love of science, that he could make a difference.
The iAid is a belt with four sensors and a joystick. The invention would allow an individual to circumnavigate obstacles without the use of a cane. If a person is inside, then soundwaves bounces off objects like the echolocation system used by bats. The joystick pivots in whichever direction the user should go. When outside, the iAid uses GPS, Bluetooth, Google Maps, and a cloud serve to send information to a user’s smartphone.