From self-driving scooters to bionic arms, wearable technology has the potential to drastically change the lives of disabled people for the better.

And a team of engineers at VTT Technical Research Center of Finland has added another assistive device to the list — Guidesense.

Guidesense is a box-shaped device designed to be worn like a heart-rate monitor by visually impaired people.

Using millimeter wave radar sensors, the device can detect obstacles in the environment — including thin branches and bushes — and relay that information back to the wearer via haptic and audio feedback.

The Guidesense concept spawned from a VTT meeting in which project lead Tero Kiuru and his colleagues were reviewing results of a high-frequency radio transmitter.

It seemed that human interaction caused interferences in the radio signal, Kiuru told Digital Trends, and one of my colleagues suggested that we could turn the idea around and use the radio transmitter for detecting things.

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