4 Incredible Tech Gadgets for Low-Vision and Blind Individuals09 January 2019
Technology is a gift – it has made our lives easier and more comfortable for decades. As more time passes, more innovative designs are created to further enhance our day-to-day lives. This is especially true for those living with disabilities.
As technology continues to advance, devices for those suffering from blindness and low vision are becoming more and more robust. It’s exciting to see so much development, and how these gadgets improve quality of life for those who need them most.
Here are 4 gadgets that are making waves for low-vision and blind individuals.
1. Sunu Band
When one sense is absent or significantly inhibited, humans and animals alike adapt. As a result, other senses are heightened and function at a higher capacity. This is especially true of those suffering from blindness or low vision.
When you can’t see, simple things like walking and avoiding objects becomes immensely difficult. Thanks to the Sunu Band, however, getting around is finally becoming easier for the blind and low-vision.
The Sunu Band is a watch-like device that uses sonar and echolocation to alert the wearer of obstacles and objects within a 15-foot radius. The bracelet uses haptics – or vibrations – to warn of incoming objects.
If there’s one thing that brilliant musicians like Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder have taught us, it’s that being blind shouldn’t stop you from living your dream or playing an instrument.
The Lime Lighter makes it easier for low-vision individuals to read and write score music by displaying notes on a larger screen. Musicians can set the page and notes to colors they can most easily see. A pedal board helps users find the next line of music and moves the score, making page turning a thing of the past.
eSight is more than just a pair of glasses; it’s a pair of glasses that gives the wearer the ability to view things and see what they are doing by adjusting zoom, color, and contrast settings to minute specifications.
The device consists of three parts: a controller, a headset, and a pair of special prescription glasses. Essentially, the headset runs a live video feed to the controller. The controller then reformats the video feed based on the wearer’s settings and retransmits the live video back to the specialized headset. In a fraction of a second, the wearer sees what is happening in front of them without missing a beat.
Now that’s some incredible science.
OrCam, a small glasses-mounted camera that can read text to a wearer, is also changing how low vision people interact with their surroundings.
Unlike eSight, where live images are enhanced and updated based on the wearer’s specifications, the Orcam device deciphers texts and visual cues and audibly “reads” them back to the wearer. From text in books and magazines to storefront signs, product labels, and even objects and faces, the OrCam “sees” for the wearer and simply reports back in real time.
Technology has come a long way and the advances for those suffering from blindness and low vision is astounding. As improvements continue to be made, these tools will become even more functional and readily available to those who need them most.