The BuzzClip is a small and discreet wearable for people that are blind or partially sighted. The device uses ultrasound to detect obstacles that may lie directly in one’s path. It then notifies the user of these obstacles through intuitive vibrations, allowing the user to safely navigate around any objects that they may encounter. The BuzzClip offers essential head level obstacle detection and can be easily attached to many forms of clothing, making it a highly versatile and useful device.
All aspects of the BuzzClip from its design to its functionality have been created with our customers in mind. It is a new spin on existing ultrasound technology and can dramatically change the lives of people living with blindness or severe vision loss, particularly for those who have just recently lost their vision. It is an extremely practical mobility tool that can reduce fears of travelling and it provides a reliable way to inform a user of their immediate surroundings and prevent collisions.
How the Buzzclip works
Getting Familiar with your BuzzClip
Your BuzzClip consists of 3 main parts:
The Rounded Top (A)
This rounded enclosure is the main control panel for the BuzzClip and can be found at the top of the device. The sensor is housed here and it slightly protrudes out of the rounded enclosure. The buttons are located to the left and right of the sensor.
The Main Body (B)
This is where the battery, circuit board and charging port are housed. The main body has a chamfered edge around it so you can run your finger along it to find the Micro-USB charging port.
The Vibrational Arm (C)
This is part is always in contact with your body, so you can easily feel the vibrations. It is located at the back or bottom of the device. The arm has a rounded rectangular protrusion that houses the vibration motor. This arm can be opened or closed through a simple push and pull motion so that you can adjust it in order to ensure proper contact with your body while you wear it.
Operating your BuzzClip
Turning On your BuzzClip:
With the BuzzClip in your palm, you should be able to feel a circular ring which is the sensor. To the left of the sensor, there is a groove with a single tactile marking to indicate the On/Off button.
Press and hold this button to turn on your BuzzClip. You should then immediately feel a series a vibrations followed by two longer vibrations. The shorter initial vibrations indicate the BuzzClip’s battery level:
4 vibrations indicate that the battery is above 75%.
3 vibrations indicate that the battery is between 50%-75%.
2 vibrations indicate that the battery is between 25%-50%.
1 vibrations indicates that the battery is less than 25%. Charge it soon!
The two longer vibrations that follow are to let you know that the BuzzClip is ready to go and begin detecting obstacles around you.
Your BuzzClip’s default starting mode is a two-meter range.
Switching Between Modes on your BuzzClip:
With the BuzzClip turned On and in your palm, you should be able to feel a circular ring which is the sensor. To the right of the sensor, there is a groove with two tactile markings to indicate the Mode button.
Press and hold this button to change modes on your BuzzClip. You should then immediately feel one short rapid vibration. This indicates that the BuzzClip is now in the 1-meter mode.
The device comes with two-modes: a 1-meter mode and a 2-meter mode. We suggest using the 1-meter mode indoor use and the 2-meter mode for outdoor use. To change back to the BuzzClip’s default 2-meter mode, press and hold the Mode button again. You should then feel two short rapid vibrations. This indicates that the BuzzClip is now in the 2-meter mode.
Turning Off your BuzzClip:
With the BuzzClip in your left palm, you should be able to feel a circular ring which is the sensor. To the left of the sensor, there is a groove with a single tactile marking to indicate the On/Off button.
Press and hold this button to turn off your BuzzClip. You should then immediately feel one long continuous vibration. Your BuzzClip is now Off!
Wearing your BuzzClip
The rounded top where the sensor and buttons are housed can be slightly pulled away from the main body due to an angled spring clip.
Your clothes are to go in between this space that separates the rounded top from the main body of the BuzzClip. Please ensure that your clothing goes all the way to the end of the bend in the angled spring clip so that it is securely fastened onto your person.
Fastening the BuzzClip:
The main body and the vibrational arm always go under or between your clothing. Only the rounded top with the sensor and the buttons should be exposed on the outside of your clothing (i.e. on the lapel of a jacket, between the buttons on a shirt or blouse, on the rounded neck of a T-shirt, on the beltline, out of pockets, on the sleeves of a shirt, etc.)
Always ensure that the sensor is exposed outwards and is not covered by anything so that you do not receive any false positive responses.
Ensure that the sensor is parallel to your body as possible. For example, if you are wearing a buttoned up shirt, make sure that the sensor is parallel to your chest and that it is not tilted to the left or right.
Ensure that you are able to operate both buttons on the BuzzClip from where you are wearing it.
Using your BuzzClip
The BuzzClip is not a replacement for a cane but a complementary mobility tool. It is intended to be used in combination with a cane or a guide dog. For those who frequently travel with a cane or a guide dog, we recommend using the BuzzClip to address upper body and head level obstacles while the cane can address changes in elevation and lower obstacles. The BuzzClip can also be used on its own for when in familiar indoor environments and for people living with partial sight who do not use a cane or a guide dog.
Detection Accuracy and Range of the BuzzClip:
The BuzzClip can accurately detect anything coming into its range of detection. The sensor ensures that the distance to any nearby obstacles is accurately measured regardless of lighting conditions or transparency of the object. It does this by sending and receiving sound waves. The received information is then relayed back to the user instantly through intuitive vibrations.
The angle of detection is a conical shape from the center of the sensor (mesh within circular ring) and the BuzzClip has two ranges of detection: a 1-meter mode and a 2-meter mode.
When the BuzzClip is clipped around your upper body or chest area, it will detect any oncoming obstacles covering from about your waist till just the top of your head in the 2-meter mode.
The frequency and intensity of the vibrations from the BuzzClip increase as you get closer to an obstacle (and vice versa).
The BuzzClip delivers three strong rapid vibrations when it is 50 cm (arm’s length) away from an obstacle as an indication to stop and proceed with caution as there is something that is now less than 50 cm away from you.
The Automatic Sleep Feature:
The BuzzClip has a built-in automatic sleep feature to conserve battery and to reduce irritation for when remaining a fixed distance away from a person or obstacle.
For example, if you were having a conversation with someone face to face, you would be within 1 or 2 meters of each other, meaning the BuzzClip would be vibrating constantly while you are conversing.
The automatic sleep feature activates when you are a fixed distance away from a person/object for longer than 5-7 seconds.
After 5 to 7 seconds of being a fixed distance away from something (i.e. you are not moving and neither is the obstacle/person), the BuzzClip will stop vibrating and is now in the ‘sleep mode’.
As soon as you or the person/object begins to move more than 10 cm, the BuzzClip will kick back into gear and start detecting and vibrating again.
Using your BuzzClip in Wet Winter Weather:
The BuzzClip is water resistant. It will function perfectly in light rain. Don’t go swimming with it though!
If rain drops land directly into the sensor, the rain may create a film of water in the sensor’s mesh. The unit may stop functioning temporarily. Simply wipe or shake the water off the sensor and it should be good to go!
The BuzzClip can function in extreme cold conditions (-30°C)
Charging Your BuzzClip
The BuzzClip’s battery will easily last up to 10 hours under rigorous use and can be charged using a standard Micro-USB cable. The battery does not require a replacement for at least 3 to 5 years (depending on use).
To Charge your BuzzClip:
4 vibrations indicate that the battery is above 75%.
3 vibrations indicate that the battery is between 50%–75%.
2 vibrations indicate that the battery is between 25%–50%.
1 vibration indicates that the battery is less than 25%. Charge it soon!