Project TalkingCane


A white cane was redesigned into TalkingCane, an interactive instrument for communication between visually impaired people and the world. The research goal of this project is to facilitate bus usage by visually impaired and hence increase their ability to exercise their essential right of accessibility in their daily lives.


Accessibility; visually impaired; assistive technology; public data usage; public transportation

Research methods

user-centered design


Je Seok Lee, Heeryung Choi, and Joonhwan Lee. “TalkingCane: Designing Interactive White Cane for Visually Impaired People’s Bus Usage.” Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services Adjunct. ACM, 2015.

Research Motivation

  • Most of transit applications do not provide interfaces for the visually impaired, which makes those applications rarely, risky for the visually impaired, on the road.
  • Transit applications hardly support communication between visually impaired users and the actual surrounding environment.


Figure 1. Journey map of TalkingCane

Figure 2. Design of TalkingCane
  • As a solution, a white cane communicating with the surrounding environment can be considered.
  • Communcation with impending surroundings will be acheived through reading RFID chips on braille road blocks. The RFID chip reader at the bottom of the white cane reads information and tells users the exact information about the environment including bus stops.
  • TalkingCane will deliver directions to users based on the GPS data, through vibraion.