Sunu’s sonar smart-bracelet provides independence for the visually impaired

Sunu sonar smart-bracelet

Sunu is a startup working on assistive wearable technology, and is turning to Indiegogo to crowdfund its business. The company is offering a sonar smart-bracelet called the Sunu Band, which provides enhanced mobility and independence for the blind and vision impaired. The campaign, looking to raise at least $50,000, also offers Sunu Tags that help owners track and retrieve personal items. The Band connects to the Sunu Tag locator beacons, and can also tell time via discreet vibrations.

“From my own experience, independent mobility for people living with impaired vision can be especially frustrating and stressful,” said Fernando Albertorio, Sunu’s CEO and co-founder, and a visually impaired entrepreneur. “The current aids in the market are simply too expensive, not intuitive and tend to label or stigmatize the user, causing many people to opt-out. A user-centered design creates functional but discreet and intuitive devices.”

An estimated 20.6 million adult Americans report they are blind or have trouble seeing, even when wearing glasses or contact lenses.The Sunu team was a 2014 Gold MassChallenge winner and received the MassChallenge Perkins award for assistive technology. Ever since, the company has improved and tested the product and kicked off partnerships with various organizations in order to supply subsidized Bands and Tags to those in need. The product testing and validation were completed with both the Perkins School for the Blind and the National Federation of the Blind.

The campaign offers the Sunu Band for as little as $159 for super early birds, and there’s also a referral program for those still can’t afford a Sunu Band. It will last through December 16, 2015.

An estimated 20.6 million adult Americans — or nearly 10 percent of all adult Americans — report they are blind or have trouble seeing, even when wearing glasses or contact lenses.