How to use the White Cane?
A common way to hold the white cane is to hold it at the level of the wrist with fingers wrapped around the handle with the index finger pointing downwards towards the cane tip. While walking, the cane is swept from side to side in an arch about the width of the body. As a tool of navigation, the tapping allows the person to feel the ground before the foot lands.
There are many techniques and training on how to use the white cane and we do encourage those interested to seek their local training center programs for the visually impaired.
Enhancing the user experience for the white cane:
The use of the white cane requires repeat movements at the wrist and elbow, therefore the weight of the cane is an important factor while choosing the proper cane. Most white canes today are made from aluminum, fiberglass or graphite but inevitably, this weight will entirely be supported and maneuvered by the wrist in the sweep and tap movement for each step. As a result of extensive movement of the wrist and sometimes, the elbow, many white cane users suffer from wrist and elbow pain.
How Does Lite Cane Work?
The Lite Cane is a tungsten weight attached to the end of a white cane to change the fulcrum or the balance point of the cane. With the lever effect, this additional weight moves the balance point upwards towards the wrist/hand. The shifting of the balance point decreases the resistance at the cane tip caused by gravity, thus making the tip end of the cane lighter. This lever effect is a simple ergonomic solution behind the Lite Cane to relieve some of the stress in the repeated wrist movement while walking with a white cane.
Development and Testing
During the development stage, prototypes were sent to the Hong Kong Society for the Blind (HKSB) for testing. The Lite Cane received positive feedback from both patrons and instructors at the HKSB and we are confident that this simple add-on can bring a healthier and ergonomic experience to those who use the white cane as a navigation tool.
Interested in trying it out?
Send us an email, we’d be happy to discuss how we can enhance your experience with your white cane.