Concept Sunday: BuzzClip wearable helps visually impaired avoid obstacles

iMerciv BuzzClipiMerciv Inc., a Canadian startup, earlier this month launched an Indiegogo campaign for the BuzzClip, a small wearable designed to help blind or visually impaired people avoid obstacles in their path. The US$50,000 they are looking to raise will allow them to finish off development and get a first production run going.

Everything from construction signs, barriers, promotional signboards and overhanging tree branches can pose serious challenges to those living with blindness or significant vision loss. Traditional aids such as a cane or a guide dog typically do well for obstacles below the waist but may not be as effective at detecting obstacles above the waist and particularly head level.

“With over 10 million visually impaired people in North America alone, and more than 314 million people living with vision loss across the world. This is a serious problem that must be addressed.” says Bin Liu, Co-Founder of iMerciv.

iMerciv BuzzClipEnter the BuzzClip. It uses ultrasound to detect obstacles and notifies the user through intuitive vibrations, allowing the user to navigate around the obstacle. Its clip lets the user attach wherever it is most convenient. For example, you can clip it to the waist of your jeans or sweatpants or the lapel of your jacket. Expected to weigh around 50 grams, it should be quite unobtrusive.

iMerciv BuzzClip


The BuzzClip comes with dual range detection, allowing the user to select a one meter range (primarily indoor) or a two meter one (primarily outdoor). As the user closes on an obstacle, the frequency and intensity of the vibrations will increase. At the 50 centimeter mark, 3 quick vibrations will warn the user to stop.

Early backers can get the BuzzClip for US$129. Other perks ranging from US$5 to US$10,000 are also available for those looking to back the project. Shipments are expected to begin in March 2016.

The BuzzClip campaign has raised nearly half of its funding goal in the first 10 days alone. At this rate, we’ll have to take that concept label off soon!

Source : Indiegogo