Blind Tech Quadrant: Sunu Band Review

Hello to all of you beautiful nerds and welcome back from traveling the vast nerd universe. I am back with a new tech review!

 

Sunu Band

 

Disclaimer: This review is based on thoughts and experiences from the lead writer of this blog. Please respect her thoughts on the device that is being talked about in this post.

 

I bet you’re wondering what the heck is this thing. Well, it’s a watch that uses sonar to detect obstacles with vibrations. I heard about this device through A. T. I. A. and was there during 2019 with my job to see what new adaptive tech is being made. This was next to the Tap Strap, which I did get the second generation recently and will review that later on and was able to test it.

 

As you guys know my cane was broken a month before this show and I was still wary about people at conventions by watching out where I am going if I can. When I tested this out, I even had one of the guys on the team walk up to me and it vibrated and thought I wished I had this device during Holiday Matsuri so my cane wouldn’t have been broken. I didn’t purchase it until this past year since they had a showcase discount and it has been working out well for me. I was hoping to put it to the real test this year with the convention season but due to the pandemic all of the conventions we were hoping to cover for the blog were all pushed back to next year but it doesn’t mean I can’t review this item for you all since I have been talking about it on our podcast, Nerdy Shique Transmissions.

 

Set Up: When you first purchase your Sunu Band you would have to download the Sunu Band App through either the App Store or Google Play. At first, I had a hard time finding the app but had to type in the full name into the search and got it. It will prompt you through the sync where you have to have the app and the band near each other to work. Once it’s synced, first is to calibrate it to be able to have proper measurements in detecting the obstacles. Which that is next!

 

Obstacle Detection: Anything in the world can be counted as an obstacle whether it’s a table, a chair, a wet floor sign and so much more, even a person can be one if they don’t move. I’ve seen it at the anime conventions I go to, heck I still remember at Holiday Matsuri where a group of girls were sitting in the middle of the ramp leading towards the elevator banks since we were heading back to our room. With the obstacle detection you can set up the distance between you and the object in front of you or someone coming near you whether in meters or feet, which I set mine to meters since I can’t see the obstacle until I get close to it. This does help me in detecting the obstacle and able to step aside or stop and put my cane in pencil grip mode in front of me.

 

Apps: Besides Obstacle Detection, which is an app, there are other apps with this device such as your Alarms App for any time you need it to wake you up or alert you if you need to be somewhere, your Compass App for knowing direction, and my favorite one is the Place Finder App. This allows you to be able to find a place in certain categories if you need to know where it is or if you’re getting close to it. One example is that I did take an Uber to a bagel shop and it was in a plaza shopping center and put this app to the test and had to raise my hand parallel to the horizon and told me what was in the plaza, as in any stores around it or restaurants if I wanted. One weak app would have to be the TapHaptics App where you can tap the side of your thigh twice for the vibrations to pause and be able to re-activate them by doing the same gesture again. If I am not in my professional clothes or a skirt that has stretch material and tried doing this app it has a hard time noticing you doing it. I prefer just pressing the Home Button that is on the button near the sonar dot and it will tell me the time, which does help since I don’t purchase Braille or talking watches anymore since I can hear the time through the app.

 

Is It Worth It? Yes! Reason being is that as either a total blind person or someone who has some light perception this device can be a big help especially in public where there will be a lot of items in the way and it’s hard to dodge. Yes, we do have a cane or a guide dog to help us know that there is something there but the message of cane to tap can be delayed in  a bit and that sometimes happens even when I sometimes have sighted guide. You can buy this for $300 or wait for an assistive technology show like A. T. I. A. or other shows across the country where you could get this for a discount. Also, with the app you have to make sure to put in the full name because there are some other apps that can get confused if you just type in Sunu and you have to make sure the company name is Sunu as well. What is also worth it to me is being able to have this on if I leave my cane in my office and walk between my classroom and office without it. I can use it to have the vibration detect a chair if I am carrying one of my devices or looking for my phone.

 

Rating: 4.5 Shooting Star Paw Prints Out of 5! I am knocking off five points due to how sometimes it can be a little hard getting some of the features to work like the Haptics App and of course the Compass App but if you know how to level your arm with the horizon then you could get it to work. I still prefer the Obstacle Detection the most due to how many obstacles can be placed in the way of my path, heck even a crowded store like Ulta or Hot Topic, even Bath & Body Works are perfect examples since they have a ton of displays to show their products. Back in the day before my mobility skills improved and this device I would run into those tables or accidentally knock over a hand soap or lotion sample. When I wore this band before the pandemic at Bath & Body, I was able to have it vibrate on the way out since my left eye has issues detecting anything on my left. Still a good device and now recharging mine so I can use it tomorrow when my dad visits.

 

That is, it for this post! I hope I will get to test this device at a convention and once I do I will definitely include it in my convention reviews because of how many things can get in the way such as artist tables, an R2 D2 can be controlled in some areas as an example, and so many more things. For now, I will be using this for normal day use when I do get out when I can. Once I post those reviews you will know over Twitter! What is next up on Nerdy SHique Universe? My Ipsy Glam Bag of course!

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