Strap Tech


The Challenge

For centuries, people with visual impairments and blindness have used canes as mobility tools.

Despite new technological advancements, the cane has not changed at all, and there has yet to be a product that has solved common major mobility issues for the visually impaired.

Until now.

The Solution

Strap Tech and Brands&People collaborated to create Ara: a wearable self-navigation technology, liberating the visually impaired with newfound freedom and autonomy.

Using ultrasonic, LiDAR sensors, and AI, Ara works in 3 phases:

Step 1: Capturing data using an array of sensors.
Step 2: Data analysis, with instant processing using Ara’s advanced AI, which identifies potential obstacles and filters out irrelevant objects.
Step 3: Communication. Ara communicates environmental information through a simple haptic language, utilizing tactile elements embedded in haptic foam on the device and within the straps. This nuanced feedback system alerts users to obstacles without auditory cues. 

Co-created by a community of individuals with varying visual abilities, Ara revolutionizes the lives of the visually impaired, offering seamless autonomy in mobility.

The Results

Ara was awarded as a ‘World Changing Idea’ by Fast Company, and ‘Best of Show’ and ‘Best Wearable Tech’ at SXSW.

Positioned to redefine assistive technology, Ara aligns with a rapidly growing wellness industry projected to reach $14 billion by 2031, coinciding with the expected rise in visually impaired individuals to 701 million by 2050. 

Ara’s adaptability is showcased through its update capabilities, enhancing user navigation across 19 countries. Significant reductions in collision risk by 80% and a decrease in injury rates from 36% to 6% have been observed. Users have experienced an 11% increase in walking distance and a 19% boost in speed, illustrating profound user benefits. These key performance indicators demonstrate Ara’s impact and are detailed in a study available in the supplementary materials. With $3.7M usd received in investment fueling its evolution, Ara embodies the sector’s innovation, propelling us towards ensuring visual impairment is no barrier to independent living. 

And importantly: Ara is not a prototype, it’s a real product with six patents and is available for purchase.