Hope Tech Plus
We are the medical technology company behind Sixth Sense, a handheld mobility assistive device that uses echolocation and sonar to enable the visually impaired to experience true freedom of movement.
While Brian Mwenda was an electrical engineering student, his relationships with friends who were visually impaired inspired him to do something to improve their lives. In 2017, Brian founded Hope Tech Plus, which aims to reduce barriers for visually impaired people through technology. Its Sixth Sense device uses sonar and echolocation in combination with IoT and machine learning to provide insight into a user’s surroundings, enabling visually impaired people to move more independently. Users hold the device in their hand or wear it as a belt around their waist or chest. As they move, the device detects objects and communicates their proximity using vibration. “The Sixth Sense facilitates freedom of independent and unaided movement and makes users feel safe as they move in our communities. A dignified aid to mobility for the visually impaired is key as we work towards inclusion and reduced inequalities,” says Brian.
The organization’s goal of reducing inequalities goes beyond its products. As part of its mission to help visually impaired people thrive in all aspects of society, the Hope Tech Plus Foundation provides libraries with assistive tools including computers and text magnifiers, as well as the startup’s devices, and provides entrepreneurship training to visually impaired people.
The Sixth Sense was funded through bootstrap investment and contributions from friends and family. Hope Tech Plus is planning its first funding round.
- Receiving the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation.
- Launching in the United Kingdom, Australia and Nairobi.
- Completing our first assembly to scale.
- Reaching 1,200 users.