5 Tips and Tricks to be Successful When Using the SUNU Band

So…What is the SUNU band? Well, in short, the SUNU band is a smart band that is worn on the wrist of the user. It uses sonar and echolocation in conjunction with haptic vibration feedback to detect obstacles up to 16 feet away. It pairs with a smartphone app that is available both on the iPhone and Android. The SUNU band is packed with many different features and in this article, my goal is to provide tips and tricks on how to become successful using the SUNU Band. For more in-depth articles and tutorials please check out the SUNU band website. www.sunu.com

Tips and Tricks

Tip #1 – Learn the hardware. The SUNU band does not have a very complicated interface but I do find it imperative that a person learns the interface to be successful. From my experience, the more comfortable someone is with the layout of the band the more successful their experience will be. It can become frustrating when just fumbling around and not performing the right actions to properly control the band or struggling knowing where the sonar beam is pointing.

Tip #2 – Learn the gestures of the touchpad – The SUNU band has a built-in touchpad that uses gestures as a way of controlling different aspects of the device. Similar to tip #1 spending the time to learn the gestures will alleviate a lot of the frustration one may experience if they just try and do it on the fly.

Tip #3 – Make sure your SUNU band and App are updated – One awesome thing about the SUNU Band is that the makers are always updating both the band and the app to maximize its potential. To get these benefits you need to update your band periodically using the SUNU app that is available for Android and iPhone.

Tip #4 – Understand the different vibrations –  This tip is super important. The band produces different vibration patterns depending on how close or far away the person is from an object. And to be successful using the band you must know the differences between the vibrations. Here is a brief overview of the four. One-No vibrations- no obstacles are being detected. Two-Intermittent vibrations- the object is sufficiently far away. Three-Moderate vibrations-Object is a moderate distance away. Four-Constant-Object is now within one’s personal space.

Tip #5 – Part 1-Using your SUNU band to locate phone- This tip is very useful and almost everyone I have talked to about the band had no idea this function existed. One thing that pretty much all of us do at some point is misplace our phones. And most of the time they are on either silent or vibrate making them very difficult to find even if you call them. This function gives you the ability to hold the home button on the SUNU band for three seconds causing your phone to chirp making it much easier to locate.

               Part 2- Double-tap pocket to turn sonar on and off – I think of this one as a neat little trick. The sonar can be a little distracting sometimes especially if you stop and want to talk to someone.One way to discreetly turn off the sonar without having to use both hands and become a distraction to others is by tapping the wrist with the SUNU band against your side or pocket twice in quick succession

Finally, the main thing with the SUNU band is to spend time practicing with the device. There is a learning curve but I believe it’s well worth working through that curve to reap the benefits of this device.

The Need to Further Incorporate Technology into the Field of Orientation & Mobility

Technology is everywhere, and all around us. It is constantly advancing and is ever-expanding. It has seeped into almost every aspect of our lives. I am hard-pressed to think of an area in my life that technology does not play a part. From brushing my teeth with an electric toothbrush to telling Alexa to turn off all the lights in my home. I can hardly imagine doing many of the things I do today without technology. I realize there are a few different camps out there on whether technology is beneficial or detrimental to society. But I believe many us fall into the camp that technology is mostly good and a little bad. But this begs the question is technology being used to its full potential in regards to O&M?

One of the main reasons I started my written and video blog is to hopefully answer that question or at least try. And if all goes well, become a useful resource on advancing technology and products that can positively influence a blind or visually impaired individual’s ability to mobilize. About five years ago I heard a gentleman who was blind give a speech on technology and one thing that he said still sticks with me to this day and that is “there is no better time to be alive if you are a blind person then right now.” And I truly believe he was right. Technology may be the key to further increase a blind or visually impaired person’s independence and it deserves to be fully explored, examined, and introduced.

Technology continues to advance day by day and I’m excited to see what this world will bring.

If you are curious about a certain piece of technology and would like me to explore it more please let me know in the comments, or send me an email at blindonthemove@gmail.com. I’m looking forward to taking this journey with you all.

Why are there so many different kinds of tips for a white cane? Which is best for me?

You may be asking yourself why are there so many different kinds of cane tips out there for a white cane? And how do I choose the one that is best for me. My goal in this mini-series on cane tips is to provide the answers to many of your questions. I would like to preface this by saying that if you can meet with an Orientation and Mobility Specialist in person to discuss different cane tips that would be ideal. But I realize many times that may be hard to do and having a resource to compare the pros and cons of different types of tips can be helpful. I am planning on doing individual videos and written blogs for as many cane tips as I can find. Please feel free to comment on the content of the videos and blogs and add things I may have missed.

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