Social Care, Urban and Local NeedsWeWALK’s hardware and software products enable visually impaired people to navigate urban environments
Social Care, Urban and Local Needs
- Founded in 2017
- Latest funding: Pre-seed, $750,000
- Revenue growth from 2020 to 2021: 110%
- Investors include Vestel Ventures; former executives from Unilever France, Goldman Sachs, and the UNICEF’s Turkish National Committee
- Offices in London and Istanbul
- FTEs: 11-50
- Key clients/partners: Microsoft, Moovit, Imperial College, the Royal National Institute of Blind People
Approximately 300 million people around the world experience moderate to severe vision impairment. A further 43 million people can be considered blind.
Devices that aid people with vision impairments are nothing new. The white cane, which is used by as many as eight percent of people with vision difficulties, has existed in some form for centuries, and in its current form since the early 1920s.
Entrepreneurs have recognised the opportunity for innovation in this space. A recent study of global patent findings by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) found that mobility was the largest and fastest growing subsector of assisted technology, with a particularly significant growth rate in patent filings for technologies the organisation considers ‘emerging’.
The co-founders of WeWALK have innovated on the ubiquitous white cane, with the ultimate goal of improving its users’ lives. The startup, based in the UK and Turkey, has developed a hardware device that attaches to a standard white cane and helps users navigate urban environments. This so-called ‘smart’ cane provides obstacle detection through ultrasonics (silent vibrations) and haptic feedback. Connecting the smart cane to WeWALK’s proprietary app allows for voice control and the ability to hear information about the user’s surroundings, keeping users safe and moving in the right direction.
- Secure more funding to expand the team
- Increase accessibility by registering WeWALK with social security systems and insurance companies as a medical device, making it free for consumers
- Launch a project for indoor navigation in locations like airports and shopping malls
Municipalities looking to make their towns and cities more accessible to visually impaired people. Users who feel they could benefit from WeWALK’s SmartCane technology. Mobility-focused companies looking for partnerships. Healthcare organisations interested in procuring WeWALK’s technology for their clients.