Could Blind People See Better With New Technology?

Is It Possible That New Technology Could Help Blind People See?

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The approaching total solar eclipse that will take place across North America in April will be able to be experienced by persons who are blind or visually impaired thanks to the utilization of specialized gear.

IrisVision assistive vision device in use

A gadget known as the LightSound box is capable of converting different types of light into sounds. An astronomer named Wanda Díaz-Merced and an astronomer from Harvard named Allyson Bieryla worked together to develop a device that generates a variety of noises that match the brightness of the sun during the eclipse.

Through the use of Zoom, the Perkins Library in Massachusetts intends to broadcast the varying tones produced by the LightSound gadget, which will enable members to enjoy the eclipse from a separate location. In addition, the Cadence tablet, which was developed by Tactile Engineering in Indiana, will offer a tactile experience to a variety of individuals, including pupils from the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Users can experience the movement of the moon over the sun through the usage of this tablet, which strengthens their connection to the whole event. In the grand scheme of things, the purpose of these activities is to make the eclipse accessible to people who have visual impairments, so that everyone has the opportunity to take part in this extraordinary celestial event.

To what extent has technology progressed to assist those who are visually impaired?

According to the Technology-Related Assistance to Individuals with Impairments Act of 1988, the term “assistive technologies” refers to a wide variety of instruments and gadgets that are designed to improve the functional capacities of people who have impairments. There are a variety of technologies that may be classified as “high tech” or “low tech,” ranging from basic items such as canes and lever doorknobs to more complex solutions such as speech recognition software and augmentative communication devices.

The Technology of Mobility

In terms of mobility, service dogs play an important role in supporting those with various disabilities. For example, people who have vision impairments or people who have poor balance can benefit greatly from the assistance of service dogs. In addition, those who are blind or have impaired vision can benefit from the navigational assistance provided by a variety of canes, including the long cane.

The use of ultrasonic waves by electronic mobility aids allows for the detection of impediments in front of the user, which provides this individual with extra support in navigating. Examples of such devices are the Ray Electronic Mobility Aid and the UltraCane, both of which integrate electronic assistance with conventional long canes to improve their ability to detect obstacles.

Helping Technology and Support

Reading aid technologies provide a wide range of software and hardware options for those who are blind or visually impaired. These technologies respond to the needs of its users. Screen readers such as the JAWS Screen Reader and the Kurzweil Education software are examples of these. These programs make it possible to transform text into speech or braille. Access to digital content and the ability to read written material are both made possible for users via braille displays that can be refreshed.

In the Eye of Science As reported by Science Corporation

These individuals who are blind as a result of disorders that impair the light-sensing cells in the eye may be able to regain their eyesight with the help of the Science Eye, which was created by Science Corporation. A microLED display is affixed to a compact electrical package, which is the component that makes up this cutting-edge technology. It is implanted all over the eyes as well as inside of them, and its purpose is to activate the cells that are still present within the eye to receive and interpret light signals. With around 16,000 pixels crammed into its wafer-thin form, the smartphone has an astounding resolution that is approximately eight times greater than that of an iPhone 13.

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