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for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

designing a product for the blind, feedback please!

Hi there, I am a design student and am trying to design a product for blind people. I have an idea which I think would be good, however it would be great if I could get some feedback on my idea, and perhaps some suggestions as to how it could be improved. If you could please reply to this post and let me know a little about yourself, especially if you are visually impaired, then this would be of great use to me.

The idea is to create a futuristic product and so please have an open mind!

I want to create a kind of hand worn device, which blind people could wear. If they touched and object or scanned the device over some words, sensors on the palm of the device would recognise the object or words. A tactile surface on the back of the device (this technology does exist) would then create a raised braille surface which the user could then 'read' allowing them to better understand the objects and information around them.

The device would be worn similarly to a glove. The braille would be created on the back of the hand and the sensors on the palm. The device would be made mostly from leather, so it is like 'skin on skin'.

Any comments would be very helpful,
thank you,

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Re:designing a product for the blind, feedback please!

You may also be interested in theBrainport. Prototypes of this device are actually being tested. I have tested one of them. It's usefulness be truly amazing. With it, somebody with no light perception can acquire information about all kinds of things in the environment which are not within physical reach. Examples include edges of sidewalks, doorways, and I am told, signs at quite a distance from the user. Google may be a good way to find out about Brainport and the folks working on the project.

Re:designing a product for the blind, feedback please!

You should probably look at the opticon, it doesn't use braille, but creates a tactile version of what you run it over such as a printed word. So, little pins would move up and down to form print words and such. The user had to train to use this device. They do not make it anymore, but I know there are a number of people who still use this device.

Hope that helps.

Joe S.
AFB Staff

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