The Miniguide is a hand-held device about the size of a matchbox, which helps people with vision impairment to move around safely and confidently in a variety of environments.
The miniguide is an advanced handheld sensor package that works like a bat - it can scan both left and right when you're walking, sending out ultrasonic beams that bounce off objects nearby. When the Miniguide detects an object, it provides feedback (either vibration or an auditory beep, depending on model). The closer you are to an object, the more feedback the miniguide provides.
The Miniguide is easily programmable for different uses and environments, depending on the user's needs. The beam width and length can be altered according to the activity and surrounding environment. It can also be used in conjunction with a wheelchair, a walking frame or a baby's pram.
The miniguide is useful to:
- Avoid street furniture and poles
- Locate doorways and gaps
- Locate buses and taxis
- Locate traffic poles
- Detect overhanging obstacles
- Follow fences and walls to maintain direction
- Check whether automatic doors are open
The Miniguide is often used in conjunction with another aid, such as a Guide Dog or a long cane. The Miniguide indicates what's in front of you, while the other aid checks the ground for drop-offs such as kerbs and edges of railway platforms.
Guide Dogs Orientation and Mobility Instructors train clients to use the Miniguide safely and proficiently, using a program that is tailored to their individual needs.
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