Flawless handle.

The innovative trigonal shape provides flawless ergonomics and enables the user to grip the cane for long periods without becoming tired. The surface of the handle is also slightly textured, helping it sit securely in the user’s hand in the presence of moisture or sweat.

Flexible strap.

The flexible fabric of the strap protects the wrist from rubbing, even during extended periods of use, while the integrated magnet allows the cane to be stored easily on any metallic surface (e.g. a doorframe!) and located quickly afterwards.

Adjustable length.

The expansion plug with bayonet lock secures the cane at the desired length and ensures easy adjustment of the sliding element without impairing the cane’s stability.

The material.

The great innovation of SAM – a specially developed, worldwide unique plastic that offers maximum stability at an ultra-light weight. It’s virtually indestructible and can be used in winter without gloves, since it gets nowhere near as cold as conventional cane materials.
The best bit of all: we’ve modified the material in such a way that SAM glows at night – without the need for foil or batteries!

Folding mechanism.

The fold-out mechanism is optimised such that when the cane is released from its folded state, SAM is ready to use in just fractions of a second. It’s intuitive to store, while the wrist strap anchors it reliably to the user’s person during use.

Customisable.

The standardised M8 threaded insert provides maximum flexibility and customisability, since users can affix their choice of cane tip. Whether a rolling ball or disc tip, a fixed ball tip made of thermoset plastic any other standardised design – all are simple to screw on and offer a perfect fit!.

SAM is not yet available to buy.

In order to be able to produce the cane in series and thus cost-effectively, investment in tools, machines and materials must be made. We are currently developing a corresponding concept for raising these funds.

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NEWSLETTER

Flawless handle.

The innovative trigonal shape provides flawless ergonomics and enables the user to grip the cane for long periods without becoming tired. The surface of the handle is also slightly textured, helping it sit securely in the user’s hand in the presence of moisture or sweat.

Flexible strap.

The flexible fabric of the strap protects the wrist from rubbing, even during extended periods of use, while the integrated magnet allows the cane to be stored easily on any metallic surface (e.g. a doorframe!) and located quickly afterwards.

Adjustable length.

The expansion plug with bayonet lock secures the cane at the desired length and ensures easy adjustment of the sliding element without impairing the cane’s stability.

Adjustable length.

The expansion plug with bayonet lock secures the cane at the desired length and ensures easy adjustment of the sliding element without impairing the cane’s stability.

The material.

The great innovation of SAM – a specially developed, worldwide unique plastic that offers maximum stability at an ultra-light weight. It’s virtually indestructible and can be used in winter without gloves, since it gets nowhere near as cold as conventional cane materials.
The best bit of all: we’ve modified the material in such a way that SAM glows at night – without the need for foil or batteries!

Folding mechanism.

The fold-out mechanism is optimised such that when the cane is released from its folded state, SAM is ready to use in just fractions of a second. It’s intuitive to store, while the wrist strap anchors it reliably to the user’s person during use.

Folding mechanism.

The fold-out mechanism is optimised such that when the cane is released from its folded state, SAM is ready to use in just fractions of a second. It’s intuitive to store, while the wrist strap anchors it reliably to the user’s person during use.

Customisable.

The standardised M8 threaded insert provides maximum flexibility and customisability, since users can affix their choice of cane tip. Whether a rolling ball or disc tip, a fixed ball tip made of thermoset plastic any other standardised design – all are simple to screw on and offer a perfect fit!


Background


There are 39 million blind people worldwide

There are also a far greater number of people whose sight is severely impaired. We want to make these people’s everyday lives easier and improve their quality of life. For us, this vision is a huge motivation and source of drive.

With SAM, we can make the lives of many blind and visually impaired people that little bit easier – in a small way, but one that makes a fundamental and lasting difference – every day..

1 of these is Robert’s father

Many great developments come about as a result of luck or chance, and this one is no different. The idea for SAM and its many features would never have come about if Robert’s father was not himself blind. As such, Robert has always been confronted with the challenges of everyday life without eyesight and recognises the requirements very precisely. We know what blind people need. Furthermore, we consistently sought feedback from blind people and rejected many, many ideas and designs on this basis. This immediate and honest feedback on our ideas was crucial in shaping the final result. In fact, one might say that we invented SAM not only for blind people, but with them.

The time was ripe for a new generation of white cane

It’s not easy to identify when the last innovations in white cane design took place. Still today, this essential companion is a somewhat cumbersome object – one that the age of modern technology and innovative materials seems to have passed by without trace. 39 million blind people worldwide – and the best support we can offer them is a stick with a rubber cord?

By chance, a brilliant product idea arose

Robert and Thomas are specialists in the development of innovative plastics. Around 3 years ago, they were struck by a question: “We’ve developed so many brilliant materials; why have we never worked on an actual product?” The weather was very cold, and Robert’s father was suffering – as he always did in winter – from cold and a lack of feeling in his fingers. Since conventional white canes are made from metal, they tend to be cold to the touch; at the same time, blind people shy away from wearing gloves, since they’re then able to sense even less than usual. In a flash, Robert and Thomas knew the solution. „We’ll make a white cane out of plastic!


Development


The material: where it all began

Three years ago, in a meeting one Thursday morning, we were discussing the test results for a new plastic mixture. “It’s as though this plastic was made for our white cane!” Robert thought.
The optimisation of the material for SAM occupied us for some time.

As a first step, we began to seek out possible polymers, but fell down repeatedly when it came to the technical details. Not tough enough, not stiff enough, difficult to process, not luminescent, couldn;t withstand temperature differences, brittle, and so on. We soon became desperate.

But there had to be a solution.

Two years of tinkering followed

The first breakthrough came in the form of the material. We found one that fulfilled our requirements – even better than we had hoped. It was at this point that Bernhard joined us. He was enthused by the idea and got to work straightaway on the drafts.

We had an unbelievable number of ideas, and set about tinkering and working on them. We rejected solutions, created new ones, tried them out and sought Robert’s father’s feedback and input. We produced a number of protoypes and were consistently self-critical regarding the results. We looked at every detail, questioned everything and left nothing as it had originally been.

Just over a year ago, we saw the light. With our new mechanism – which enabled the product to be unfolded in fractions of a second – and trigonal grip shape, we had a product that everyone could get behind.

We are thrilled with the results of our work

The great deal of work and intensive discussion, the implementation of ideas and their subsequent rejection – all of this was truly worth it. In the end, we came up a white cane design that was reconceptualised from the ground up. It offers improvements in many aspects, not just in one.

What SAM means

A white cane is a daily companion, which is why it deserves a name. What’s more, it deserves a first name, something really personal. SAM! But SAM also has a meaning – and this meaning reflects our motivation for creating it in the first place:

SAM means Security, Agility, Mobility – making the world better for the visually impaired.

Who we are

We are Thomas Auinger, Bernhard Rathner und Robert Lielacher (from left to right). We are the creators of SAM.
We want to make SAM accessible to as many blind people as possible at a reasonable price. For this serial production we need a lot of money to finance necessary machines, tools and material. We are in the process of developing a really good and suitable concept for this.

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Thank you

At this point, we wish to say THANK YOU to Robert’s father, a truly incredibly source of support who encouraged us not to give up to until we had found a credible solution for the design and for our detailed ideas.

The white cane – reconceptualised from the ground up.

SAM is the white cane reconceptualised from the ground up. It offers numerous improvements, yet will be no more expensive than a conventional white cane.

SAM is our contribution to making the world a better place.

SAM is intended to improve the lives of as many individuals as possible. We want to begin serial production so that we are able to offer sufficient quantities of our white cane for direct purchase from us or from specialist retailers. To this end, further investments (tools for serial production, material etc.) are required. We are currently in the process of drawing up a really good and appropriate concept for raising these funds. Sign up to our newsletter and stay informed!

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  • SAM has a pleasant feel! Roughened (sandblasted) surface – also ideal for custom grips
  • SAM is pleasant to hold in both cold and hot weather (both handle and stick!)
  • SAM is light
  • SAM has a perfect trigonal grip that enables the user to adopt a range of hand positions
  • SAM is safe – the material is optimised in terms of its stiffness, stability, flexibility and breaking strength in hot and cold conditions
  • SAM is very robust in day-to-day use and can withstand a good deal of stress
  • SAM glows in the night – for prolonged periods!
  • SAM can be folded up in the blink of an eye and is easily stored
  • SAM has an adjustable length
  • SAM is customisable (cane tips)
  • SAM can be made affordable

The Team


Robert is our engineer for coarse material and, for a trained environmental engineer, is also an excellent machine builder. As a result, he was able to oversee all aspects of the process technology and engineering. His motto? That function (for the most part) comes before form – but this is something we gladly allow, since the things he builds almost always work from the off. If that wasn’t the case this time, though, he wasn’t going to give up so fast …

Bernhard is the technical draftsman with a feel for details. With equal parts passion and skill, he combines newly devised components into functional assemblies and then translates them into ready-to-produce parts. While we might often struggle to follow his thought processes, the results speak for themselves – the radius and draft arranged just so, enabling him to set the parting line of the mould accordingly and ensure the part emerges as desired, with all required production tolerances. As always…

Thomas is a plastic technician with little regard for the well-worn path. When we consider the possibilities provided that modern industry provides, we realise that we already have an array of powerful tools at our disposal for the development of new solutions. A clever person once said that to arrive at visionary solutions, one must connect the dots that no-one has yet been able to see. In much this spirit, Thomas is always on the search for new ideas …

And if there’s one thing the three have in common …

… it’s the combination of passion and technical knowledge that enables the creation of innovative solutions.

As such, the creators of SAM consider ourselves not as inventors of new possibilities, but as those who seek them out. It’s against this background that SAM came about.

Where can I buy SAM?

SAM is not yet available to buy..

To be able to produce our white cane in large numbers and thus at affordable prices, investments must be made in tools, machines and materials. In order to be able to produce the cane in series and thus cost-effectively, investment in tools, machines and materials must be made. We are currently in the process of drawing up a really good and appropriate concept for raising these funds.

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