Bracelet to help people with vision disabilities navigate
Americas, December 9 2015
BOSTON, MA: Sunu, a startup focused on assistive wearable technology, announced the launch of a crowdfunding campaign designed to raise at least $50,000 to help bring a new generation of its product to market. The award-winning technology powers a sonar smart-bracelet called the Sunu Band, providing enhanced mobility and independence for people who are blind and low vision. The campaign also offers Sunu Tags, helping owners track and retrieve personal items.
“From my own experience, independent mobility for people living with vision disabilities can be especially frustrating and stressful,” said Fernando Albertorio, Sunu’s CEO and co-founder, and a entrepreneur with vision disability. “The current aids in the market are simply too expensive, not intuitive and tend to label or stigmatize the user, causing many people to opt-out. A user-centered design creates functional but discreet and intuitive devices.”
An estimated 20.6 million adult Americans (or nearly 10 percent of all adult Americans) report they are blind or have trouble seeing, even when wearing glasses or contact lenses. There are more than 280 million people with vision disabilities worldwide. Vision disability at any level can cause difficulties with everyday activities such as driving, reading, socializing and walking. With the Sunu Band’s proximity sensors and haptic feedback (vibrations), people with vision disabilities can better sense objects in their path and navigate successfully.
The Sunu team was a 2014 Gold MassChallenge winner and received the MassChallenge Perkins award for assistive technology. Over the past year the company has improved and tested the product and kicked off partnerships with various organizations in order to supply subsidized Bands and Tags to those in need. Sunu completed product testing and validation with both the Perkins School for the Blind and the National Federation of the Blind, and worked with numerous orientation and mobility experts, and individual users. The new Band includes:
- A haptic clock allowing users to tell time via discreet vibrations.
- Connections to the Sunu Tag locator beacon, helping people keep track of personal articles.
- A lower regular price ($249) due to manufacturing advances. Special limited time prices are available through Indiegogo: a Super Early Bird for $159 and an Early Bird for $199.
The crowdfunding campaign includes a referral program for those still can’t afford a Sunu Band, allowing them to “win” one by sharing the campaign with friends and family. Sunu is now accepting pre-orders on IndieGogo through December 16, 2015. Supporters can receive Sunu Tags, Sunu Bands, cellphone cases, school, organization or distributor packs, and the ultimate Sunu Insider Experience which includes a visit to the Guadalajara, Mexico and tours of the Sunu Mexican HQ and lab.
For more information, visit http://sunu.io