Frequently Asked Questions & Technical Guide

We're here to help with a deep dive into all that Glide has to offer.

We know Glide is a bit different...

That’s why we’ve created a comprehensive FAQ and Technical Guide. Below, we answer our community’s most common and pressing questions, and dive deeper into the capabilities. If we missed something, please feel free to email us at gliders@glidance.io. We’d be happy to help!

Accessible Downloadable FAQ
Disclaimer

Glidance disclaims any warranties, express or implied, with respect to the product and its features or claimed benefits displayed by Glidance whether before or after you have placed the preorder.  The product, its design and technical features are subject to development, and the product when launched may be materially different from the information provided in this document. 

FAQ & Technical Guide Table of Contents

Overview

Glide is the world’s first self-guided primary mobility aid designed to help blind and low vision individuals navigate with confidence.

A groundbreaking leap in assistive technology, Glide combines cutting-edge navigational robotics and AI to provide you with an intuitive and comfortable guided experience.

To walk with Glide, you hold Glide’s ergonomic handle in one hand while walking at your own pace, and Glide will safely guide you by steering its wheels or braking if needed.

Glide is powered by our proprietary Glidance Sensible Wayfinding service, which uses real-time data from an array of advanced sensors to map the best routes, identify targets of interest, and avoid obstacles to get you safely to your destination

Glide will help you confidently navigate high-traffic areas through its obstacle and hazard detection, identifying both stationary and moving objects such as people. It can also detect overhead obstacles like branches, signs, and other hazards.

The Glide device’s main body has an 8 inch tall rounded body (about the size of a soccer ball), with two black 7 inch wheels at the base and red bumper on the front. An LED ring divides the main body, with black on the lower half and white on the upper half. A handle is attached to the main body by a white telescoping stem. The handle is a softened triangular shape and includes a speaker, microphone, and camera. The grip area is black rubber and includes a centered input button and left and right haptic feedback zones.

The design features LEDs that can light up for visibility and elements that help people understand that it is an assistive device.

The Glidance Sensible Wayfinding Service lies at the heart of the Glide experience, and is Glidance’s proprietary AI-powered navigation and spatial mapping technology. It powers the full intelligent capability of the Glide device, and unlike LLM and GPT AI systems which are mainly focused on language, Glidance Sensible Wayfinding’s uniqueness lies in its ability to learn and navigate through extremely complex dynamic unstructured indoor and outdoor pedestrian environments in real time, while continuously learning and to manage in more and more nuanced situations.

This high intensity computer vision and sense making AI system, built by Glidance, spans across powerful on-device inference and learning modules and cloud services that are connected to all active Glides, and powers each Glide’s ability to make sense and safely and effectively guide you through complex spaces.

Glidance Sensible Wayfinding system is provided as a subscription service, and is required to operate Glide. Our current estimated cost is $30 per month (discounted to $20 a month for the lifetime of the device for our earliest Preorder customers). We will never allow the need for a subscription to be a barrier to your use of Glide as your go-to mobility aid and will never leave you stranded.

If you have any significant concerns or challenges on subscription pricing once you receive your device, please reach out to us!

The Glide device is easy to learn how to use; you walk, and Glide steers the way while avoiding obstacles and keeping you safe. You will quickly get a feel for its movement and learn to follow its path, steer by twisting the handle, quickly pick up speed, and gain confidence. Glide’s intuitive design and onboarding tutorials will help you get started on your familiar routes as soon as you get the device. Our goal with Glide is to empower you to further your independence when out and about whether you are just transitioning into blindness and just need a little help, or have been blind for a while and are already confident with your mobility skills.
With its camera and sensors, Glide will detect and direct you to key waypoints and line-of-sight targets, and on approach it will automatically brake and alert you with voice and haptic feedback. For more information, see the Indoor & Outdoor Navigation section.
Glide has two main navigation modes; Freestyle, and Directed Navigation. Directed Navigation is when Glide is taking you on a route that it was either pretrained on (e.g. by you creating and saving your favorite routes), or that you entered into navigation app such as Google Maps. Freestyle is when the user is making all the navigation decisions and Glide keeps them safe while informing them about their surroundings. While in Freestyle mode, for example, you can walk a familiar or unfamiliar street and Glide will find the line, avoid obstacles, announce primary targets, and so on. You can set Glide at high verbosity and hear obstacles it detects so you can use them as landmarks. We are also working on signage detection, however this feature may not be immediately available

We are currently testing the 4th Glide prototype, and are making rapid progress through direct user feedback towards beta devices. We plan to begin Beta testing later this year to ensure that Glide handles the wide range of real-world scenarios we expect our users to encounter.

We expect that the device will be ready for delivery in September of 2025.

Who Glide Is For

Glide is designed to assist anyone whose sight loss impacts their ability to navigate outdoor and indoor environments safely and independently. This includes blind and low-vision individuals, people with temporary sight loss, night blindness, and others.

Glide provides blind and low vision people with a 3rd primary mobility tool along side the cane and the guide dog. It is designed as a primary mobility aid that enables independent mobility without a guide dog or cane, and you do not need to be a cane or guide dog user to have Glide become your primary tool. 

While working with Glide however, you may heal your guide dog or hold a cane in the other hand for a sense of safety or otherwise, but we don’t expect that you will be using both at the same time.

Glide is meant to guide you, and it does not provide support for balance in any way. It is held in one hand, and may be used with a support cane held in the other hand on flat and safe environments. We believe it unsafe and strongly advise against the use of Glide with a support cane on steps or any other environment where you may need to hold a rail for additional support.

We strongly advise against the use of Glide in conjunction with a walker or rollator because you will need to use one hand to hold Glide and may lose balance while doing so. We understand the need and are considering integration with rollators and walkers in future models.

If you are considering to use Glide with a wheelchair, be aware that Glide was designed to guide a person walking, and that you will need to dedicate one hand to hold Glide. At this stage, Glide does not have a wheelchair guidance mode and therefore it may be unsafe to rely on its guidance.

Does Glide replace a guide dog and/or white cane?

Glide is a primary mobility aid that enables independent mobility without a guide dog or cane. However, it can also be a great additional tool for people who already proficiently use a guide dog or cane.

We believe that the deaf-blind community will value the benefits Glide provides to confident navigation. Glide is designed such that The main feedback is the turning and braking of the wheels, which you feel through the handle. Glide also uses haptics on each side of the handle to convey information. In addition, it can connect to other Bluetooth accessories that can translate audio.

Features & Functionality

The following are the features we expect to have ready for launch, though there may be changes as we go through our beta program and learn.

Software Features:

  • Automatic steering and braking
  • Obstacle avoidance with overheads and drop-off detection
  • Path detection and guidance
  • Primary target detection and guidance (door, crosswalk, stairs, etc.)
  • Voice input
  • Companion app for setup and onboarding, device settings, and Over-The-Air updates

 

Hardware Features

  • Telescoping handle with comfortable grip
  • Directional haptic feedback in the handle
  • Selection buttons and a programmable “quick access” button in the handle
  • Built in speaker, microphones and Bluetooth connection for audio feedback
  • Rechargeable battery for all day charge and 6+ hours of active use
  • USB-C charging port
  • Large 7 inch replaceable terrain wheels
  • LED illumination for safety and visibility
  • Water resistant design to resist rain and splashes
  • Weight under 6 lb / 2.75kg

 

Enhanced Software Features

(Delivered post-launch with Over-the-Air updates)

  • Scene description
  • Voice interaction
  • Guidance on pre-trained routes
  • Map integration with 3rd party navigation apps and route planners
  • API Integration with 3rd party services
  • Live stream video

The volume from the speaker can be adjusted via the selection buttons in the handle, via a voice command, or through the smartphone app. You can also choose to have the audio go through a Bluetooth audio connection instead.

The Glidance Sensible Wayfinding service continuously advances and uses the latest computer vision and AI services as well as maps and information relevant for navigation, thereby keeping your Glide up to date at all times. These updates are made automatically “Over-The-Air”, directly to your device via wifi and Bluetooth connections.

In the case of stairs, Glide will guide you to the top or bottom of the staircase and inform you when you arrive, at which point you will carry it up or down the stairs. With Glide’s larger wheels you will be able to wheel Glide down the stairs if you prefer.

Glide will detect curbs, drop-offs, and potholes, steer you safely among them while keeping you at a safe distance, and alert you with voice and haptic feedback as needed.

Glide recognizes crosswalks and curb cuts, provide voice and haptic feedback when you reach a crossing point, and keeps you on a straight line while you cross. However, Glide will not initiate the crossing, requiring the user to press the selection button to release the brakes, always relying on the user to determine when it is safe to cross.

When crossing a road, Glide is designed to both detect the crosswalk lines as well as the up-curb. We believe that with the combination of the two, Glide will be able to guide a person safely on the crosswalk in most situations even when the lines are faded. However as we know all too well, there will always situations where additional assistance may be recommended.

To provide confidence to the user Glide will communicate through a gentle buzz in the handle when it is confidently aligned and targeting the up-curb. The intent is to give the user the confidence that they can trust Glide to get them across and off the road quickly and safely. In absence of the buzz the user will know to take extra precautions – for example to ask for help, wave their arm around to further increase visibility, target the inner line, and all the things you do when you feel uncertain or when your dog feels uncertain.

When you turn onto a path, e.g. a sidewalk, Glide immediately looks for “the line” that is the smoothest path to guide you on, given the path boundaries (building line and sidewalk edge) and obstacles on the way. As you walk, Glide guides you on that line using its wheels and makes constant adjustments to the line based on changes in the environment, for example if you encounter other pedestrians, or even if Glide finds a better line as it gets nearer. The upshot of that is that Glide will help you avoid obstacles by gracefully guiding you past them, keeping you on the safe path.

If the path is blocked, e.g. due to construction or a car on the sidewalk, and Glide is unable to find a safe path, it will bring you near the obstacle and apply the brakes. It will also inform you of the reason it stopped, e.g. with an announcement of the obstacle. We are currently looking into a more advanced scene description the user could request, such as the scene description provided by BeMyEyes, to help the user understand the issue.

Ultimately, in this case the user will have to decide whether to perform an off-curb maneuver which Glide will support them on, or to choose a different path.

Glide is water resistant and can be used in rainy conditions. Snow and ice are challenging conditions, and while Glide will not be optimized for use in ice and snow at launch, this is a capability we will work to provide through over-the-air updates.
Glide is designed to be used outside, both on and off paved surfaces. Its large wheels and durable body allow it to traverse bumpy sidewalks and accessible trails. With drop-off detection, it will avoid curbs, potholes, and other hazardous obstacles. We are also considering offering swappable wheels to address loose surfaces like sand.
Glide has sensors and a camera that can detect overhead obstacles like a tree branch, helping you steer around them or alerting you to their presence if there is not a clear path around them.

Core features like obstacle avoidance and line-of-sight targeting will work in offline or GPS disrupted scenarios like this, but the full suite of navigation and AI features make not be accessible.

Traveling with Glide

Glide is designed to weigh less than 6 pounds, so it can be easily picked up and transported as needed. The It’s telescopic handle allows it to be shortened such that it can fit in a car, on a bus, or under the table at a restaurant.

Glide’s obstacle detection and sensible wayfinding technologies will help you keep pace with the people in front of you, steering, slowing down, or stopping if needed to avoid collisions.
Glide is designed for you to walk through the airport and onto the plane. To that end it is designed to be compact and fit in an overhead bin, your carry-on bag, or on the floor between your feet. It has an internal lithium-ion battery that must be carried on the plane.

Connectivity, Battery & Durability

Yes. The Glide app must be wirelessly connected to your smartphone device for setup, for account preferences, and for device updates. It must also be wirelessly connected to your phone to use advanced AI features and map-based navigation on the go.
Yes, it will. In addition, the Blind Shell phone is an Android phone and we will be happy to work with the blind shell phone provider to ensure the glide app is supported.

Glide will run up to a full day on a single charge, with 6+ hours of active use (this means 6 hours of active walking and navigating). It can be easily recharged using a standard phone charger and a USB-C cable.

Glidance products will be supported with software upgrades and improvements via over-the-air updates for a minimum of four years from the shipping date.
Glides electronics are designed to operate between -5 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pricing & Availability

Our aim is to make Glide an affordable and accessible consumer device for as many people as possible – while still providing exceptional functionality, rugged durability and lasting quality.

The initial retail price for the device will be $1499 USD, plus a monthly subscription estimated to be $30 USD per month (with a special discounted price of $20 USD per month for preorder customers, locked in for the lifetime of the device). This subscription is for the use of the Glidance Sensible Wayfinding service, our high intensity computer vision and sensemaking AI system which lies at the heart of the Glide experience. You can find more on this below.

We are eager and working to make Glide available as soon as possible! Our preorder program opens July 9th, 2024. We begin beta testing in the fall of 2024 and estimate delivery of the product in September of 2025.

While the initial purchase cost of Glide covers the physical hardware, to activate Glide and use its full set of capabilities, you will need an active subscription estimated to be $30 USD per month ($20 for Preorder customers). This subscription is for the use of the Glidance Sensible Wayfinding System, described above, which lies at the heart of the Glide experience.

We will never allow the need for a subscription to be a barrier to your use of Glide as your go-to mobility aid and will never leave you stranded. The stated $30 per month is our best estimate at this stage, and we welcome feedback from the community on pricing options that can work for you. Please write to us with your thoughts at gliders@glidance.io

The regular payment of the subscription is needed to keep Glide’s Sensible Wayfinding service active. You have the option to suspend payments in periods of time when you don’t expect to use the device. If for any reason you are unable to make the payment but need to continue using the device then all you have to do is let us know and we will give you a free month. We will never allow financial hardship to get in the way of your use of Glide.
We plan to launch Glide in the United States, Canada, EU, and UK first, and are working through timelines to reach other markets. We will communicate more precise location timelines as soon as we can.
Glide will initially launch with English as the primary language, but we are working quickly on localization to include as many languages as possible.

Throughout the end of 2024 and into 2025, Glidance will be hosting Demo Days in major cities for individuals to experience Glide for themselves. Stay tuned to our newsletter for upcoming dates and locations! 

It is also important that you test-drive Glide in your home environment, and to that end we will be offering a 60-day full refund policy, with a minimum requirement that you use the device for 30 days. This means that after 30 days of use, if you would like to return the Glide for any reason, we will take the device back and fully refund you the cost of the device. 

Preorder & Deposit Programs

We’re committed to building Glide transparently and openly with and for our community.

As a result, we believe that it’s fair to offer a special preorder price (30% off Glide’s retail price) to our earliest supporters in exchange for their show of support.

We believe that working with and getting to know our customers, their needs, and their lived experiences is a crucial part of the process of co-creating a technology with such significant potential impact as Glide.

By Preordering your Glide, not only are you lining up to be one of the first in the world to receive your Glide, but you are clearly expressing your support for Glide’s mission to transform independent mobility for all and joining us in shaping the development and learning process to achieve it.

When you preorder a Glide, you’re getting in at a discounted price in return for being our earliest support before we fully bring the product to market. You’ll be one of the first in line to receive yours when we start shipping in 2025.

Over the next 6-12 months, you’ll also have a unique opportunity to be a part of our design, innovation, and iteration process. We’ll be asking our preorder community for feedback, sharing regular updates on product development, and working to ensure that Glide meets your and our expectations before we deliver.

Through June 30th, 2024 we offered a special discount program for our earliest community of supporters. With a $100 fully-refundable deposit, Founding Gliders were able to receive the following benefits:

  • 40% off Glide’s retail price of $1499 USD when we launch preorders this summer.
  • Free first three months of subscription service ($20 USD/month).
  • Be the first in line to receive your Glide, with expected delivery in September 2025.
  • Future benefits, offers, and early-access opportunities for Founding Gliders.

This program is now closed, as we are currently in the Preorder stage

We will be charging standard delivery rates for shipping once we are ready to deliver your Glide next year. We estimate this to be $20 for US shipping, and $35 for Canada, UK, and EU shipping, but will confirm as we get closer to the dates, and work to keep the costs as low as possible for you.

With regards to import duties, we have baked the price of import duties and customs tariffs into the price of the device, so we do not expect that you will need to pay extra for that.

Glide is a new category of device, and as a result the VAT/IVA tax implications and potential exemptions are not entirely clear, and differ from country to country. In some countries, Glide may be fully tax-exempt, while in others it may not be.

Because we do not want to hold up your excitement to Preorder your Glide, and we certainly do not wish to overcharge any customer, we will not be adding VAT/IVA on your initial payment if you are the in the UK, Canada, or EU.

However, please note that we may need to come back to certain EU, UK, and Canadian customers to collect VAT/IVA tax before we ship your device. This will happen once we fully work out Glide’s tax liabilities, and we are confident we are charging you correct amount for your location.

As always, we invite our community to reach out to us if you have expertise around this in your specific country, and appreciate your understanding!

Right now, preorders are only available to residents of the U.S., Canada, U.K., and E.U.

Given the logistics and costs around shipping and importing a new device like Glide, as well as localization needs for the device, it will take us a bit of time to have Glide available worldwide, however, rest assured we are working on making this happen.

If you are located outside of the U.S., Canada, U.K, and E.U., you will be the first to know when Glide is available for preorder in your region, and we will be offering you a Founding Glider discount or other perks and benefits at that time for being one of our earliest supporters! We will publish international availability dates in the near future.

We’ll be launching on July 9th, 2024. Join our waitlist and you’ll get the announcement via email!

The Glidance team is made up of seasoned entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, and startup veterans who together have developed and shipped millions of consumer electronic devices to customers worldwide.

As with any startup, there is always risk involved, but our commitment is to deliver the device as promised, and to be fully transparent throughout the process.

Glidance, Inc. stands behind the quality and durability of our products. Our policies protect our customers’ purchases from manufacturing defects within 2 Years (24 months) from date of shipment, and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. We are also working on a more extended Glidance Care Warranty Package, that will be available before we start shipping in 2025. Our goal is to provide you with the absolute best service and support, and we will always work with you to find a solution to your issue.

Any intentional alterations or adjustments made to the device post purchase voids return and/or exchange eligibility & warranty policy. If you have questions or concerns about your Glide purchase, please feel free to reach out to us at support@glidance.io

Proof of Purchase is required for all Warranty claims. The return of the damaged item may be required, in which case a pre-paid label will be provided. Third-party purchases, individual resale, or purchases made outside of Glidance, Inc. and/or Retail partners are ineligible for returns, exchanges or warranty support.

Warranty policy applies within the country of delivery, and cannot be supported outside of the country in which it was purchased. Duties and/or taxes as well as shipping costs can be liable to the customer.

If you have any concerns around your claim, warranty or device, please reach out to support@glidance.io

For our Preorder customers, we will be offering a 60-day full refund policy once the device ships, with a minimum requirement that you use the device for 30 days. This means that after 30 days of use, if you would like to return the Glide for any reason, we will take the device back and give you 100% refund.

Beta Testing Program

What is the Beta testing program?

The goal of the Beta program is to test pre-production versions of Glide in as many conditions and environments as possible. The beta program will start with around 20 units and grow in scale as needed. Each unit will stay with the tester for up to two weeks, during which time our team will interact with you and collect feedback about your experience with the device.

Can I be a Beta tester?

We appreciate all the interest from so many of you to participate in the beta program.

We will extend invitations to participate in the beta program based on information from the registration survey you completed, with the goal of testing and getting feedback in as wide a range of locations and scenarios as possible. Pre-ordering the device is NOT a requirement to be considered for Beta testing.

Where are you Beta testing?

We will begin testing in a few US cities and expand across the US, Canada, and potentially Europe and the UK. Please note that the final locations have not yet been decided.

What happens if I’m selected?

This will be a high-commitment role where you will test a Glide Beta device in various scenarios to help us validate the device’s capabilities in a range of settings representative of day-to-day use.

You will be asked to take notes on your experiences and provide written feedback on the device’s performance and issues during use. You will then be asked to ship the device back to us so that it can go to another tester.

Is there compensation for being a Beta tester?

We recognize the value being contributed by our community through the beta testing program, and will compensate participants for their contribution.

Contact Us

We would be glad to hear from you! You can reach out to us at anytime at support@glidance.io. Or, you can reach us by phone at 1 (425) 510 6155. 

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