IoT360 Summer School and Hackathon Awards

BlueCane – Best IoT Project (Intel Award)

“World War III” Team:

Stefano Di Segni (inventor) – Strategy consultant in the IoT field and maker (Rome, Italy)
Alireza Ramezani – PhD student at Politecnico di Torino (Turin, Italy)
Giuseppe Siracusano – Senior engineer at Università Tor Vergata (Rome, Italy)
Abdullah Alfadhly – Senior researcher at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (Ryadh, Saudi Arabia)

BlueCane Description:

The BlueCane device is part of a wider vision, which attempts to apply IoT technologies to the lives of disadvantaged and disabled people, regardless of their economic condition, across the world. It is a kit that attaches to a blind person’s white cane, providing a number of services which improve safety and allow increased independence and mobility. Obstacle detection and light sensors, LEDs, a buzzer and a Bluetooth connection to a smartphone – which is becoming an increasingly affordable option, even in developing countries – are attached to a low-cost and low-power microcontroller. It is an example of simple and inexpensive hardware, enabling geolocalized social and community services and opportunities, both stand-alone and through the Internet. Compared to other existing devices, the approach is to offer a scalable and open range of peripherals, to be attached to existing canes and to be cheaply serviceable everywhere on the planet, so that even the poorest, unconnected person can still benefit from it.

The BlueCane, was rapidly prototyped using off-the-shelf components and demonstrated at the IOT360 Hackathon/Summer School in Rome on November 1, 2014, will now be refined in its operation and engineered with the goal to reduce the bill of materials as much as possible, in order to make it potentially accessible to every blind person in the world. The project will be published as open hardware and software and the kit should ideally be provided at cost, hopefully with the generous contribution of hardware providers and of other charity-sensitive partners.

The BlueCane won the Intel Award and the first absolute prize at the IOT360 Hackathon/Summer School. It was presented by the World War III Team, whose members come from diverse technical, ethnical and cultural backgrounds. World War III is meant to be fought against poverty, social exclusion and prejudice, utilizing the weapons of the Internet of Things.

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