Kirkland believed that technology had yet to master the practice of movement learning. While other fields had a wide array of educational technology, Kirkland noticed that the ability to learn movement was not accompanied by many technological advancements.  He wanted to progress movement learning into the digital age. With this goal in mind, Kirkland began to consider touch, or haptics, as a possible and transformative method of communication.​

Kirkland wanted to harness the versatility of touch in order to create a navigation device that could safely and intuitively guide people who are blind and visually-impaired without taking away their ability to observe and enjoy their surroundings. Based on this idea, Kirkland and a couple of his colleagues decided to create a company that could develop a language of haptics. The WearWorks team, composed of Kirkland, Co-Founder and CDO Kevin Yoo and Co-Founder and COO Yangyang Wang, developed its first product: the Wayband, a haptic navigation device that uses non-intrusive vibrations to guide users to their destinations.

WearWorks has raised a seed round of $155,000 and substantial funds from grants, and, although not currently in a funding round, is interested in hearing from investors with a social impact mission or hardware background. Despite not currently hiring, they are on the lookout for engineering talent for employment opportunities in the future. To learn more, visit their website.

 

WEARWORKS

Allowing The Blind To See Through Touch

Writer: Jessica Hamlin

Camden native and WearWorks Co-Founder Keith Kirkland began his career as an engineer. His graduate program was launched by Pratt Institute where, for his Master’s thesis, Kirkland helped to develop a body suit that attempted to use touch to teach users the art of Kung Fu. Through this research, Kirkland found that haptics, or touch, could possibly be used as a way of communicating movement of one part of the body to another.

Through the use of WearWorks’ technology, consumers who are blind and visually impaired have more freedom when it comes to navigation. Instead of placing one's trust and safety into the hands of a speaking navigation device, consumers now can be guided to their destinations by touch, thus allowing a sense of freedom and independence that has never before been seen in the development of navigation devices for the visually-impaired.

 

WearWorks has worked with consumers to develop the most polished and efficient version of their technology. The WearWorks team worked with blind Ultramarathoner Simon Wheatcroft to develop a sport version of the Wayband to facilitate his unassisted participation in the 2017 New York City Marathon.

 

WearWorks is currently implementing the ‘Go Somewhere Challenge’ : An initiative to get the Wayband into the hands of more product testers in the blind and visually-impaired communities.

WEARWORKS

Allowing The Blind To See Through Touch

Writer: Jessica Hamlin

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WearWorks has raised a seed round of $155,000 and substantial funds from grants, and, although not currently in a funding round, is interested in hearing from investors with a social impact mission or hardware background. Despite not currently hiring, they are on the lookout for engineering talent for employment opportunities in the future. To learn more, visit their website.

Minds:

 A Social Network for the People

Bill Ottman was frustrated. Frustrated because the internet powers that be were spying on his every move online. Frustrated because he built several successful media companies, each with millions of followers, only to have Facebook tweak their algorithm to force him to pay to reach his own fans. Frustrated because the social media giants cared more about their advertisers than their users. That’s when he decided to build something better.