Evaluation and Comparison of the Hand Guide and the MiniguideBy Penrod, William M., EdD, COMS; Simmons, Thomas J., PhD, CRC; Closing the Gap, Vol. 23, No. 6, pp. 22-24, 36
Publication Date: February/March 2005
Article provides a review of the Hand Guide and the Miniguide, which are electronic travel aids for people who are blind or have low vision. Electronic travel aids are devices that send out signals to sense the environment within a certain distance, and then provide the user with information that can help to facilitate safe travel. The Hand Guide and the Miniguide are both secondary devices, meaning that they are meant for use in conjunction with a cane or a guide dog. The Miniguide is a small ultrasonic electronic travel aid developed by GDP Research in Adelaide, South Australia. The device is available in an audible or tactile model, and has the following five features: (1) low cost, (2) small size, (3) multiple modes, (4) 4-meter range, and (5) a battery life of roughly 100 hours of continuous use. One interesting component of the Miniguide is the watchdog feature in the audible model, which allows the device to be positioned toward an avenue of approach (a doorway) to give advance warning of someone entering the room and coming within 2 meters of the user. The Hand Guide from Guideline is an obstacle detection device that utilizes infrared sensors to preview the environment at a distance of up to four feet. Like the Miniguide, the Hand Guide is also available in tactile and audible modes, and it can also be placed near an avenue of approach to detect visitors. The difference between the two devices can be seen in that the Hand Guide’s range never reaches beyond 4 feet, as opposed to 4 meters with the Miniguide. The author concludes that both devices are useful and cost effective, and are welcome additions to the many electronic travel aids available to people who are blind or have low vision. Implications for improvements are discussed.
Assistive Products Discussed: MINIGUIDE
MINIGUIDE US (MODELS 1-07006-00 & 1-07007-00)
Published by: Closing the Gap, Inc. (Website:http://www.closingthegap.com)
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number R08573