15-year-old CEO Inspiring Tomorrow’s Future

15-year-old TedxBrampton speaker, Riya Karumanchi, proves that age is simply a number after introducing her company, SmartCane. She captivated the audience with her passion for utilizing technology to better people’s lives and received a standing ovation. 

After seeing her friend’s grandmother struggle using a traditional cane, Riya was inspired to reinvent this device to help the visually impaired. She programmed the SmartCane to vibrate when detecting objects, thus making it easier to get from place to place. This technology also uses computer vision, which she describes as “a subset of artificial intelligence so that when you put your phone at different things, it can actually describe to you what they are through audio output”.

Initially, it started off as an idea and now has grown to be a group of 4 people raising 83 thousand dollars in funding and brand services. Not only that, but it has received support from Microsoft, AirWill Electronics, Inertia Engineering and more! 

Driven, to say the least, Riya also highlighted emerging new technologies and their potential, thus encouraging the audience to “flip our thinking and innovate ideas. Compile our knowledge to solve some of the most pressing problems.” Age doesn’t matter, she concluded with a few words of advice, rather “it is your willingness to learn. Willingness to fail. My advice is to go for it.”

Edited by: Harleen Klair

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