Tactile Sight, a Guelph based company has been developing a belt that will assist the blind and Alzheimer’s patients with their daily tasks. The Tactile Sight belt uses a combination of GPS, tactile motors, altimeter, accelerometer, compass and customized software to guide its users. Eventually many of the parts may be replaced by a smart phone such as the iPhone. The motors are located in the front, back and both sides of the belt and vibrate to guide the user in the right direction. Toronto Rehab will be testing the belt this summer on elderly patients suffering from dementia.
Tactile Sight was founded to commercialize the technology developed by University of Waterloo Professor John Zelek. The company was funded with $156,000 from the U.S. Alzheimer’s Association and $40,000 from the Ontario Centres of Excellence.