New Sunu Band Gap Finding Mode + Sonar Enhancements (Beta)

Intro

The sonar sensor’s recent evolution will allow you to take full advantage of your Sunu Band’s abilities, providing a simple but complete tool to adjust the sonar to your needs, making its use a personalized experience.

Now, you will find three default modes, Indoor Sonar Mode, Outdoor Sonar Mode, and our newly developed Gap Finding. Furthermore, you can create your own presets for different scenarios and choose between advanced sonar detection forms, such as texture and shape detection.

Sonar Default Modes

Indoor and Outdoor Mode

We have redesigned our default modes to give you a better user experience. The range settings, now called maximum distance, the detection area is now called detection angle, and vibration intensity, now called Vibration Power, will remain available in the new settings. Additionally, you can adjust the minimum distance and the type of haptic feedback by frequency or intensity. We will proceed to explain this further. 

The maximum distance allows you to select the range from which the sunu band will begin to detect obstacles. The maximum distance you can choose is 15 feet (4.9 meters). It is necessary to mention that the greater the distance, the more difficult it will be to detect small obstacles, such as people or posts; however, the detection is more precise in short distances.

The minimum distance setting will help you set how far you want the highest vibration to avoid contact with obstacles around you. For this configuration, you can consider how fast you are when you walk, how big your steps are, or how long your cane is. For example, if you walk fast, adjust the range between 1.0 or 1.5 meters; on the other hand, if your walk is slow, you can set it up between 0.5 or 1.0 meters. Remember that you can always experiment with new settings according to your needs.

The detection or sensing angle will help you choose how broad the sonar vision will be, adapting it to different spaces, ranging from very narrow to very wide. This setting enables the sonar sensor to be less or more sensitive to detect objects around you. For example, in a supermarket, you could use the narrow level so that the detection is more accurate; on the other hand, in the street or a park, use the widest setting for higher sensitivity.

Haptic feedback allows you to customize how you want to feel the information from the Sunu band; there are two ways: 

  • Frequency-based: The frequency of vibration indicates the distance, intending that the closer the object is, the faster pulses you feel and vise versa. 
  • Power-based: The Power-based vibrations indicate the distance in terms of strength; that is, the closer you are to the object, you feel stronger the vibrations triggered and vise versa. 

Finally, the vibration power works to adjust the vibrations’ haptic intensity; this setting only applies when frequency-based feedback is selected, which means that you can choose how strong the vibrations can get. Access these settings in the Sonar Configuration option on the My Sunu Band tab.

How to get the most from your Sunu Band

This section will help you improve your Sunu Band’s use; follow these simple recommendations before using the sonar and beginning the practice activities.

  • Place your Sunu Band on the opposite side of your mobility aid, be it a white cane or guide dog.
  • Make sure to comfortably wear the Sunu Band around your wrist so that haptic feedback is more precise.
  • Check that your thumb is aligned with the sonar.
  • Verify that your Sunu Band is paired with the Sunu App and calibrated.
  • Remember that the proper position to navigate with the sonar is with the arm fully extended and your palm touching the thigh, just like a soldier but with natural movements.
  • Be careful not to tilt your wrist unless you scan high obstacles or over your head.
  • When you are navigating with sonar, emphasize the thumb technique, use it as a pointer to clearly understand where you are pointing; this helps you identify where the haptic feedback is coming from.
  • When you are exploring, you may touch the obstacles to confirm the information that the Sunu Band gives you; remember that the more you practice, this information will be more precise.

Activities, testing different distances

Minimum Distance

  1. Set the minimum distance of the sonar to 1 foot (0.3 meters). 
  2. Stand in front of a wall, and approach slowly with your cane; on your first attempt, your cane will touch the wall first, and the sunu band still will not reach its maximum vibration. 
  3. Repeat the test and increase the minimum distance until the sunu band reaches its maximum vibration before your pole touches the wall; this would be the ideal configuration, but you may select the one you feel most comfortable with. 

Remember, depending on where you are, it may be convenient to reduce the minimum distance to small values.

Maximum Distance

  1. Test indoor and outdoor sonar modes. 
  2. Set up both modes with the minimum distance, which is 1 foot (0.3 meters), 
  3. Start exploring with both modes to recognize the differences between them.

Gap Finding Mode

This mode will help you find gaps more easily; it has a preset configuration that we have designed for you. It is part of the new sonar modes that will launch soon, and it’s a Sunu’s courtesy, you can remove it or modify it if you want; you might change the distance, the detection angle, the type of haptic feedback (by frequency or intensity) and the vibrations’ intensity anytime.

Activities to get you started with Gap Finding

Proximity exercise against a wall without changing the default modes 

  1. Stand in front of a wall, walk forward and then step back to feel how the vibrations’ intensity changes; repeat several times until you are familiar with these sensations. 
  2. This mode works with the base intensity setting, which you can modify in the other distance modes such as indoor and outdoor or new modes that you create.

Scanning

Stand in a familiar place, for example, your home, start scanning the space using this mode, identify where your Sunu Band pauses, then go to that point to tap and check the aperture you scan. Remember, The more you practice, the easier it will be to identify these spaces.

Practice

As you have already experienced, this mode is designed mainly for narrow spaces and will help you find gaps such as open doors or corridors; you can try it in a supermarket or stores where there are defined spaces between the shelves.

Remember to write us what your experience is, how you feel, and even share your preferred mode and settings.

Build a New Sonar Mode

Within the new Sonar Settings, we have integrated a new function so that you can design your own sonar modes according to your day-to-day needs.

By pressing the create new sonar mode button will open a window where you can choose between three types of sonar: 

  1. Proximity, 
  2. Proximity and texture,
  3. Proximity, texture, and shape.

First, add a name to help you identify them easily and quickly in your sonar modes list.

Proximity

This mode only communicates the distance of the objects around you; the settings are identical indoors and outdoors. You can modify the type of haptic feedback and the minimum distance; you can create similar modes suitable for different spaces, according to your preferences.

Proximity and texture

This mode allows you to know the textures of the objects that surround you only with the vibrations of your sunu band. You will identify the difference between the three levels of texture thanks to the different vibration sensations without missing the distance information indicated by the vibrations’ intensity. We have enlisted them below:

  1. Hard obstacles, such as walls, cars, and tree trunks; 
  2. Medium textured obstacles, such as people, chairs, and bushes;
  3. Soft texture obstacles, such as curtains or hanging clothes. 

Proximity, texture, and shape

This mode works the same as the textures mode and enables you to recognize the shape of the objects around you through a wrist scan; the vibrations go faster in the object’s central part and slower null where it ends.

Activities to get you started

Create a new sonar mode with proximity and texture detection, set the minimum distance to two feet (0.7 meters) and the maximum distance to 8 feet (2.7 meters).
Locate three objects with different textures: a car and a wall for hard surfaces, a person and a bush for medium textures, and a curtain for soft textures.