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It is a portable electronic device of navigation and of further multiple functions for visually impaired people.

First of all, as a navigation device with technology based on the use of sensors of ultrasounds, it detects obstacles and gaps in a distance of 0,10m - 4,00m from the person using it, which are declared through a specific sound or vibration signal. The user determines the maximum distance that he/she wishes to check and this way they have the information needed relatively to obstacles on the street, a loggia or a crack in a pavement, the move at the queue line when at a bank e.t.c. Furthermore, thanks to an incorporated sensor, it can sense the light and the level of it (how bright or dark it is).

The user can also connect it with external sensors -which are sold separately from the device- so as to set on extra functions, quite useful. Indicatively, this way the user can be informed about the level of the liquid in vessels, glasses or pots, as well as about whether the pilots of devices are on or off.

Τhe device is digital and therefore, the user has the opportunity to update the program, depending on the needs occurred. The significant assets of the Smart Guide is that it is a greek product, produced at the workshops of the Lighthouse for the Blind of Greece, mostly by blind and visually impaired people. It has low production cost and its price is 90% lower compared to competitive products of its item abroad. There is proper functioning guarantee given and high quality after sales services offered. Its promotion on the market contributes to the finance of the association and the maintenance of the working positions for blind workers.


Of course, the use of the Smart Guide is supplementary to the white cane’s, since the latter is important, not only for the visually impaired ones, but also as an indicator for the sighted ones.  The device addresses needs of visually impaired people of all ages, aiming to their social inclusion, safety and independence in all aspects of their personal and professional life.


Ιn the beginning of 2015, George Karkoulias, the inventor of Smart Guide, approached a company producing security locks, so as to broaden the collaborations of the workshops of the Lighthouse for the Blind of Greece. Although there was no collaboration with that company, at that field he met Nick Thravalos, a mechanical engineer, with whom they kept in contact; Nick Thravalos, thanks to a fellowship he had gained, offered an amount for the upgrade of the Metal Processing Unit of the Lighthouse for the Blind of Greece, as well as helped in the achievement of fundings for the creation of the Smart Guide.

Thus, in June 2015, the venture was awarded by the Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award and that is how the connection with the Intracom Telecom Company occurred.

The Intracom Telecom Company designed the imprinted circuit (PCB) of the SmartGuide and adjusted the components from DIP (DUALINLINEPACKAGE ) to SMD (surface-mount device) for space saving and better functioning of the device. Furthermore, they entirely designed the circuit of the charging of the battery of lithium. Finally they also conducted a significant research for the supply of materials included in the breadboard and kindly offered the first 100 first breadboards.



Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award 2015

Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award Programme was launched in 2012 by the Libra Group, on behalf of the Hellenic Initiative. Ever since it was founded, more than 2.600 business ideas have been submitted and 15 companies have been 15 awarded.

The 3 winners per year share interest-free funding for their business of about €1.250.000, as well as support and mentoringthroughout every stage of the business start-up,provided by the Libra Group and other supporters of the programme.

On June, 23, 2015 the Smart Guide was nominated third out of the 730 business plans that had been submitted. Thus, the Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award offered the chance of development of this innovative product, with ultimate aim the aid to the visually impaired people in their daily movement with safety and independently to the maximum extent.

More specifically, the winners of theHellenic Entrepreneurship Award 2015 were:

Heliix – an innovative technology of converting thermal energy into electricity, where the company’s first implementation Phaethon™ is based on. Phaethon™, is a device that can be retro-fitted to any type of solar water heater, in order to create a solar co-generation system that produces hot water and electricity at the same time, providing a reduction of up to 30% in a household’s annual electricity costs.

Applicants: Νick Arapkoules, Panagiotis Papadiamantis

Smart Guide – A wearable electronic mobility guide that senses nearby obstacles and obstructions for the blind and visually impaired. This innovative product will be produced in the facilities of “Lighthouse for the Blind of Greece” by employees who themselves have impaired vision. The project aims to create social as well as economic impact through its workforce focus, affordability and strong export prospects.

Applicants: George Karkoulias, Nick Thravalos

Yoleni’s –An online delicatessen that enables European and American customers to purchase authentic products from every corner of Greece fast, easily and securely. offers more than 1200 products from 110 highly regarded rural producers across Greece. The website includes a wide variety of food and drink combinations and features a wealth of information on each region plus numerous local recipes and serving ideas.

Applicants:Nikolaos Pippas, John Georgiadis, Peter Agazanis

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