Hope Tech Plus: Innovation stack

Global Disability Innovation Hub
March 27, 2023
Case Studies and Reports

Assistive technology (AT) innovation is born out of the necessity to create a meaningful change that improves lives.

This innovation stack is an example of disruptive technologies that facilitate independence. From a single successful smart cane product, Hope Tech Plus has been inventing new AT to support the independent and mobility of people with visual impairments across three continents.

Hope Tech Plus created an intelligent device that senses different obstacles. By using echolocation, sound waves are emitted and  reflected back to the emitter,
similar to that of sonar, to identify obstacles in the users path. A flashlight vibration is activated on the smart cane to alert the user.

The product was launched in 2019 and has been a success in a range of developing markets - however, this single product was insufficient to provide complete
independence to a person with severe visual impairments, and so Hope Tech Plus have continued to innovate.

Summary of innovation journey

  • Problem 1: Identify the need & solution
  • Problem 2: Upgrading the product from smart-cane to a wearable tech
  • Problem 3: Haptics & the challenge of introducing a new language
  • Problem 4: Integrating the technology and language components into one (affordable) device
  • Problem 5: Creating, Shaping and Penetrating the Market
  • Problem 6: Remaining relevant

Key Lesson

The critical lesson is patience. Developing assistive technologies can be challenging, and is often a more difficult journey than developing a mainstream product. Ongoing innovation is needed, but get it right and there is the potential to change lives.

See the full innovation journey:

You can also view the full details directly on the Microsoft Sway.