PSFK’s Trending Topic: How Tech Is Making Life Better For The Blind & Hearing Impaired
Advancements and innovations are helping the visually- and hearing-impaired lead ordinary lives.
Technological advancements have not only given us fun, new and exciting gadgets and apps, but they also give the visually and hearing impaired many ways to lead ordinary lives without being hindered by a sensory lack. From a special font that lets blind and full-sighted children read together to a magazine that uses augmented reality to place sign language on its pages, these innovations allow the differently-abled to gain more independence and lead more worry-free lives.
The Thailand Association of the Blind partnered with BBDO Proximity to create The Storybook For All Eyes, a book that combines braille and the English alphabet to allow children of any vision to read aloud together. Illustrations were also embedded with hidden embossed images for the visually-impaired to discover.
The Ultrabike is an ultrasound sensor kit for bicycles and it allows the visually-impaired to ride by themselves. The device has sensors that detect obstacles ahead and alert the rider via vibrations on the handlebar. The device is detachable and fits any bicycle model.
Israeli startup OrCam developed a camera-based system that recognizes words, numbers, and images and relays them to the wearer via audio feedback. The device helps the visually-impaired read “street text”or traffic signs, bus numbers, newspaper articles, and more.
DEAF MAGAZINE is a lifestyle and society magazine that has an augmented reality component with video content that visualizes what is on the page. The magazine links German sign language with the written word and helps hearing readers connect with the German deaf culture.
Developed by students at Virginia Tech, NuWave is a pair of eyeglasses that transform sound waves into vibrations. The eyeglasses use Bone Conduction transducers to give hearing-impaired wearers a new way of experiencing sound.