Wearables for the Blind - Transforming Lives with Technology
Are you a gadget geek? Do you love discovering cool gadgets and technologies for unexpected purposes? You have likely heard about the increasing popularity of wearable devices. Did you know there are wearable devices being created for the visually challenged? From text-sensing gloves to Braille timepieces, there are a wide range of cool technology treats for those with limited eyesight that are currently being considered for development. How many of the following gadgets were you aware of?
The Panopticon is a wearable glove that converts text into Braille and audio outputs. The sensory tip of the glove is able to scan text and convert all scanned data into Braille. The Braille output is then converted into audio. Designed in collaboration with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, the Panopticon glove is the work of Joshua Sin.
The Touch & Go device is a handheld navigation tool for the blind. Designed by Natalia Ponomareva, the Touch & Go device would allow those with sight impairments to receive navigational cues from their handheld device into their earpiece. The Touch & Go device is currently in the design stage and is not yet available to the general public.
The Munivo wearable will let individuals with limited sight travel with an extra sense of independence. Currently in the concept stage, the Munivo wearable will use ultrasound technology to help blind individuals sense their surrounding environment. Sensitive to both pressure and temperature, the Munivo device could potentially be used in combination with other visual aides like walking canes and guide dogs.
The Braille watch from Tuvie will allow visually challenged individuals to tell time by touching the raised dots surrounding the Tuvie's watch face. Currently in the prototype stage, the Tuvie watch offers those with sight limitations a distinguished timepiece. Crafted in black and chrome, this Braille watch is elegant yet functional. Unless an individual is close enough to see the raised dots, there are no distinguishable signs that this wearable is anything but a sophisticated watch.
How many of these wearables for the blind do you think will actually be developed into physical products? Do you think those with visual challenges would actually use these devices? Technology is transforming lives in numerous ways including 3D printing for prosthetics and remotely controlled robotics for those with physical challenges. The above-listed wearables are just a tiny peek at the potential ways that technology could be used to help improve daily living for those with sight impairments.