For people who aren’t visually impaired, it’s sometimes difficult to comprehend how much the world is designed for people who aren’t visually impaired.
From traffic lights to coffeemakers that indicate they’re done with lights, even the smallest thing can be frustrating because of designs that are automatically made for people without visual impairments.
Here are seven innovative products for visual impairment to even the score just a little bit:
- Braun Bell Concept Mug: Sang-hoon Lee and Yong-bum Lim have made a mug that emits a sound when the liquid reaches water sensors that mark certain places inside the mug: you can now fill up your mug to exactly 3/4ths with no problem. People who can’t see how full the cup is, have to resort to dipping a finger in, this is not only unsanitary, it’s downright dangerous for mugs full of scalding hot liquid.
- The Eye Stick: The walking stick that sees for you. This walking stick is equipped with a lens that recognises special hazards like stairs, or traffic lights and then communicates to the user through sonic vibrations. New environments are now less dangerous and unknown for the visually impaired who get hold of this nifty little thing.
- The B-Touch Mobile Phone: Designed by the brilliant Zhenwei You, if this smartphone had an IQ, it would be off the charts. Along with braille touch screen tech, this phone incorporates voice activated software as well. This phone will read out loud to you, act as a navigator, and do object recognition, so you don’t have to, and so much more. All it needs now is a laundry setting.
- LeChal Shoes: Wear the future with Lechal’s shoes. They connect with apps on your phone or tab to act as navigator. Vibrations on your shoes will tell you how to walk. Move left if you feel a vibe on the left shoe and so on. The latest version doesn’t work with obstructions in your path yet, but they’re working on it, and I for one am eager to explore what they come out with.
- Enchroma Lenses: Opening up a whole new world for colourblind people, these spectacles may look like shades, but they can help a lot of colourblind people see more colours than before. Colour blindness happens due to a different balance of absorption in retinal cone cells which will cause ‘spectral overlap.’ Red-green colourblind people are likely to not have full spectral overlap so that they can be helped through this.
- Bionic Eye: Visual impairment through retinal pigmentosa can be a terrible thing. However, with Robert Greenberg and the Argus II, there may be a light at the end of that tunnel. This is a two-step process with a device that is implanted in the retinas combined with a pair of glasses which will send signals to the device that will then send electrical impulses. The image is low-resolution, but at least it’s possible. Unfortunately, it is still extremely expensive and unlikely to be accessible to a majority of patients.
- Braille E-Book Reader: Electroactive polymers may fulfil the dreams of many readers worldwide. While not a reality yet, and not cost-effective enough to be commercially available, it’s a good thought and one that needs to be pursued.
Using electromagnetic signals, it is possible to produce refreshable braille patterns or an e-book reader that will make millions of books accessible to visually impaired people in a lightweight and simple form. The design was proposed by Seon-Keun Park, Jin-Sun Park, Sun-Hye Woo, Byung-Min Woo.
Seven things that prove that with technology and will, you really can change the world for the better. This will improve the lives of many people, and give them the tools to change the world as well. It’s a beautiful domino effect.
LSI Keywords:visual impairment, visually impaired, blindness, blind, Accessible to visually impaired people, Products for visual impairment, Visual impairment through retinal pigmentosa, Colorblind people, Braille