Innovating through Inclusive Design Workshop
Hong Kong, 31 August 2008
Jason is a student who is partially sighted. Like many long cane users, Jason uses this simple but essential device to navigate the environment.
The team began by taking a walk with Jason in the deserted Innocentre and realised that in large open spaces he received little aural feedback and found difficulty in orienting himself. Although Jason views the cane as an extension of his body, he finds it boring in style and has difficulty folding it when he boards a bus.
Concept - Urban Ninja
The team envisaged a new configuration that transformed the cane into a multi-functional and modular lifestyle accessory that worked well ergonomically. Jason came up with imagery for the new style he desired, and words - urban, cool, casual, smart, equal, comfortable and Chopin. From these words the team devised the Urban Ninja concept.
The team showed two versions of an improved detachable handle with an ergonomic grip and enhanced feedback with storage for an Oyster device used for travelling. Similarly the tip would be detachable and have flashing LEDs for security at night. The cane would be telescopic rather than in its current 'tent-pole' style construction, which depends upon a single internal wire and obliges the user to flip it out straight to unfold it. A telescopic cane would make it easier to stow.