Visually impaired individuals at the event were asked to review the Smart Sticks to demonstrate their effectiveness.
An innovative product called “Smart Sticks” has been developed by female students from Regina Pacis Secondary School in Onitsha, Anambra State, which has been hailed as a breakthrough by the visually impaired community. The school’s students have a history of winning awards for their innovations, having previously developed the Fake Drug Detector app to combat the spread of counterfeit pharmaceuticals in Nigeria.
The smart sticks, capable of detecting obstacles up to 120 centimeters away, were tested by visually impaired individuals at the launch event, and the Youth Coordinator of the Nigeria Association of the Blind in Anambra State, Chibuzor Obierika, noted that the product had undergone significant improvements since its initial testing.
“After building this project, we noticed it could only sense obstacles horizontally in front of the blind man, so we decided to advance this project. The Smart Sticks can now sense objects from an angle of elevation and an angle of depression,” she said.
“The Smart Sticks are designed with an ultrasonic input sensor that alerts a blind person of an obstacle not less than 120 centimeters ahead.
The initiative aligns with the state government’s directive to encourage the development of innovative skills among young talents.
The students showcased their invention during the pastoral visit of the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Onitsha Diocese, Most Reverend Valerian Okeke.
The Archbishop and the Obi of Onitsha Nnemeka Achebe commended the students for their achievement while distributing over 20 packs of the smart sticks to visually impaired individuals.
At the event, the effectiveness of the smart sticks was demonstrated by visually impaired persons who reviewed the product.
“I feel very much elated. In today’s society, visually impaired people have gone past the era of being perceived as being incapable of contributing to societal development,” one member of the blind community said.
“These Smart Sticks would go a long way in helping them live a life of independence.”