Trujillo’s been able to pursue both of those passions as the co-founder and Chief of Innovations at Sunu. The company’s first product, the Sunu Band, is a smartwatch for people who are visually impaired. The band uses sonar technology to identify obstacles and help the wearer avoid them by sending discrete pulses to the wrist. They’ve also developed a tagging system to help users find personal items like keys.
According to Trujillo, the design for Sunu was a happy accident. “[My business partner] was experimenting with an ultrasound sensor and electric shock feedback, so he built a machine that shocks you the closer you get to the wall,” explains Trujillo. “At that moment we thought that it may be useful for the blind, so I went to a blind institution, shared the idea and proposed a collaboration to develop a mobility device.”
Trujillo views Sunu as a leader in accessibility technology, and integral to the movement to make people with disabilities more included and independent in society. “Sunu comes from a Mayan word that means Hummingbird—for the Mayas and other ancient Mexican cultures, a hummingbird was a messenger that symbolized willpower,” Trujillo says. “I believe that the human willpower is capable of overcoming any limitation, regardless of the conditions, so Sunu is a messenger that seeks to awaken and fuel the human willpower through the best of technology and design.”
Abigail Ballou, Alexandra David, Shreya Iyer and Casey Nugent contributed to this story.
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