Ultra Cane Review by Ian Cooper

Guide Dog Owner with Ultra Cane Owner

Ultra Cane
OK how many of you have been out walking, minding your own business when a branch of a tree or an overhanging sign whacks you in the face? I do know how this feels, that’s why 12 years ago I bought the 1st generation of the Ultra cane. At a staggering price of £500 I decided to hire a guard to watch over it and make sure that no one walked into it and gave it that famous banana bend. 
I have to say, I hand on heart, love my Ultra Cane and when I came across a young lady on a stall at the Sight Village in Glasgow talking about this cane that I had. I had unfortunately dislodged the selection button and was slightly annoyed about this. Julie Davies got talking with me and offered to see what she could do to help. Needless to say I am still, after 4 years, using my Ultra Cane.
I met Julie this year at the Sight Village in Glasgow and was interested to here that a slight tweak had been done to the Ultra Cane and now the vibration was set a little hire to assist anyone with either slight neuropathy or, for those of us living in Scotland where the winters can be a little breezy, a pair of gloves can be worn and the vibration is still strong and true. I thought that as I am an Ultra Cane user I really should take this newer version for a spin, and Julie agreed, letting me put it through its paces for a month.
Well as you will know my loyal reader I don’t mess around when I am reviewing a bit of kit and the Ultra Cane was no exception. I decided to take it to the heavily populated Suchiehall Street in the centre of Glasgow to see how it would handle the crowds and city centre street clutter. Well I was not surprised to find that the Ultra Cane stood up to the challenge and no bumps or bruises were collected by me. As you go along this main shopping street you are subjected to lots of obstacles that my wife informed me I missed by feet and even the overhanging sign for a café was detected, though I was in no way near to whacking my head off of it, but it was detected. 
A visit to another shop brought me to one of these security gates that are designed to stop you from climbing over them as they are around 6ft high. The Ultra Cane let me know that the obstacle was not just in front of me but also a considerable height too, handy so that I didn’t just walk through the gate and flatten my nose.
Again, while out with a family member I was left by myself and was rather impressed with the ability of knowing the approximate width of an aisle in the store we were in. As I said before, branches are something that just enjoys whacking me in the face and whilst out on a free run with Elsa the wonder dog I was able to single handily get about the field without ending up scratched to death by twigs and overhanging branches.
As I touched on earlier the vibration on this model was stronger than my original model so, for testing reasons I donned a pair of thermal gloves with around 5mm of thickness to test the sensors, and there was still a strong vibration, note the lengths I go to review a device as this was done in June when Glasgow got some hot weather.
Now some people will say that I am just singing the praises of this cane as I already have one, well not true. My Ultra Cane is a lot older than the model I was reviewing and there were subtle differences. The older one seems to be slightly heavier, possibly I just imagined this, but the grip on the newer Cane was far sturdier and the feedback from the 2 pulse displays were far stronger than my older model. When I talked to Julie, she informed me that the sensitivity of the cane can be altered to suit individuals. Now some people who have a lesser strength in their upper arms will possibly struggle with this as it needs the chunky handle grip to hold all the sensors and output nodules. So do think about this if considering, or start eating spinach, to improve those muscles.
OK, I hear you calling what other issues are there? Well actually none that I came across. The Ultra Cane is a sturdy bit of kit that adds that little bit of assistance in that you will be informed of things in your direct way, or off to the sides. You will also get the heads up on over hanging obstacles and this in a neat sturdy device. 
If you are out and decide to fold away the Ultra Cane then a rather neat red and black bag is supplied that can either be slung over your shoulder or clipped round the waste with a little pocket inside to hold a replacement set of double A batteries.I used this Ultra Cane for a month and never had to replace the batteries and did not feel there was any loss in the ability of the sensors.
The Price of this cane is more expensive than a standard cane coming in at £600 for the Ultra Cane. Some will think that this is expensive but as it is a device that will stop you from head butting signs, walking into either people or expensive things on shelves, then the price does seem far more accessible.
Now usually I say that the device has issues that will cause me to deduct points, but apart from the weight for certain people there is nothing that I can find to put me off this device. Even the price of £600 is still within the limits of most people. So a 9 out of 10 for the Ultra Cane.
If you are interested in the Ultra Cane then give Sound Foresight a call on: 07496 522 033 

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