Meet Hope Tech +, A Company That Helps Visually Impaired People Move Freely


Sept. 7, 2020, 3:36 p.m.

Seeking to curb the daily struggles faced by visually impaired people while they use white canes, Brian Mwenda, an electronic engineer has launched Hope Tech +.

Kenyan-based, Hope Tech + is a medical company that uses technology to create devices to enable the blind experience their environments, move freely and get easy access to social activities, such as education and employment.

The functional device called the Fourth Eye is one that acts as a guide to individuals by detecting obstacles in the individual's path and giving them the appropriate feedback.

The Fourth Eye launched in 2019 in partnership with an engineering company from India serves the user by converting any cane into a smart cane, using echo-location technology to image the obstacles and alerts the user via haptic feedback.

All this is with the goal of replacing the need for a human guide or guide dog whenever a visually impaired person wants to move around,” said Mwenda.

The company currently has 1,200 users across Kenya and trial users in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria and South Africa and set on to scale up across the continent.

They are also rolling out another device called The Sixth sense, one that will act as a mobility assistance device by guiding users through their environment by detecting physical hazards and relay it to them.

The Sixth Sense is made of a sensor module, an adjustable feedback chest strap with vibrating haptic motors and a wrist strap for navigation and obstacle detection.

To help his visually impaired friends move around freely, Mwenda began prototyping assistive devices that could help his friends integrate better into society. One of these devices was shortlisted for the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation in 2017, and it was that same year that he turned his vision into a company – Hope Tech +.

He hopes to create a world with zero barriers and easy access to social and economic activities for over 285 million visually impaired globally.

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Verny Joy Author

Verny loves to write poetry, fiction and quotes. Her love for writing landed her in journalism. She loves gadgets and travelling to explore new places.