Crain’s New York Business carries the compelling story of Dr. J.R. Rizzo, a doctor at NYU’s Langone Medical Center. Rizzo’s got a degenerative disease and he’s losing his sight.
His inventions, a sensor-equipped vest and a wheeled cane that improves on a device that hasn’t changed in almost a century, could help the visually impaired navigate the physical world: “There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t have a fall or hit my head, and I still have five degrees of central vision,” Dr. Rizzo said. “It really hits home for me.”
The Eyeronman vest (cute name, that — you have to say it out loud) has 70 sensors of various sort that drive a variety of actuators; the CumbaCane can detect obstacles more effectively than your basic white and red stick.
Rizzo’s trying to raise $500,000 and get the CumbaCane on the market for under $100 in 18 months. The vest is maybe five years out; it requires FDA approval. The company is called Tactile Navigation Tools.
This is straight out of Hollywood. Someone get this guy a Kickstarter, will you please?