About STRAP Technologies
STRAP Technologies is a Mexican startup company that developed a wearable assistive technology device designed specifically for the visually impaired. The business created the wearable device as a substitute for the traditional white cane in hopes of increasing overall confidence and independence as well as help the visually impaired community to feel more autonomous.
The rechargeable device, aptly named STRAP, is a small black box that resembles a portable speaker and is strapped on a person’s chest. The product features innovative technology developed by STRAP Technologies that allows it to detect obstacles around a person’s body and oncoming obstacles such as bumps, holes, and steps.
In addition, STRAP can differentiate between what is considered an obstacle and other humans. Furthermore, the startup company designed the product to use haptic language and sensors to provide real-time mobility instructions.
The business created the device to be worn by visually impaired people of all ages.
Business Seed Funding
Platform Capital, a growth markets investor, announced in a press release it was the leading investor in a $1.3 million seed funding round for the startup company. STRAP Technologies is also backed by International Accelerator and a group of angel investors.
Diego Roel, founder and CEO of the business, said in a statement, “...The investment represents the belief in what we have accomplished and what we have been passionately working on these last three years in research and development. We appreciate the confidence of our investors in STRAP and strengthening our position for the future.”
While STRAP Technologies has yet to officially launch its namesake product, the announcement stated the startup company has received more than 6,000 pre-orders from customers across North and Latin America. The devices are expected to ship in Q4 of 2021.
The announcement did not disclose how the business will use the new capital. However, as a result of the financing, Dr. Akintoye Akindele, chairman of Platform Capital, will join the Board of Directors at the startup company.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported earlier this year that there are 2.2 billion people globally who have a near or distance vision impairment. Almost half of those cases are preventable or have yet to be addressed.
The WHO added that the annual global costs of productivity losses associated with vision impairment from uncorrected myopia was estimated to be $244 billion and $25.4 billion for presbyopia. Myopia is a condition when incoming light does not focus on the retina, but rather in front of it, causing nearsightedness. Presbyopia is when incoming light focuses behind the retina, causing difficulty seeing objects close-up.
While visually impaired or blind people are typically associated with using white canes, the Perkins School for the Blind reported that only about 2% to 8% of visually impaired individuals use one. Most visually impaired or blind people use service dogs, sighted guides, or rely on their usable vision.
About the Author
McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.