Designer Jin Woo Han has created the "Tactile Wand" as a 21st-century conceptual white stick for the blind. The rechargeable gadget uses some sort of distance sensor and communicates by buzzing, letting the user know of upcoming obstacles: the stronger the buzz, the nearer the object. Neat design, Jin, but can it detect doggy doo like the old-fashioned stick could? What happens if the batteries die when you're mid-street crossing? We reckon it would take some re-education of cops too: pointing a strange looking stick at people in public these days is probably a big no-no. [Coroflot via Gadget lab]
This sort of thing already exists - called the Ultracane. Its a full stick with a sensor at the top and bottom, and the handle has two vibration spots. This way the user can tell between small obstacles and waist-level obstacles. The vibrations get more intense the closer the obstacle is too.
The idea of not having it without the actual stick is a bit odd.. without the tactile-ness of the stick it'll make things a bit more difficult.