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Blind

Games

Audio-only game Grail to the Thief puts a blind-accessible spin on old-school adventures

Games that are accessible to the blind are few and far between, and – aside from a handful of stellar exceptions like Somethin’ Else’s Papa Sangre series on iOS – those that do exist tend to be amateurish at best. But a recently-funded Kickstarter project (which still has a few days to go) aims to rectify the problem. Grail to the Thief harks back to classic adventure games like Zork, Day of the Tentacle, and Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, except that instead of text-only descriptions of twisty little passages and the like, it presents the entire game through audio. Read More

Wearables

Lechal haptic footwear guides you by buzzing your feet

Three years ago, we heard about a prototype shoe that could be used to guide the wearer via haptic feedback. Designed by Anirudh Sharma, who was then a researcher at Hewlett-Packard Labs in Bangalore, India, the Lechal shoe was intended for use mainly by the blind. This week, however, Sharma and business partner Krispian Lawrence announced that the production version of the Lechal will soon be available for preorder, and it's aimed at helping all people navigate the city streets. Read More

Medical

Experimental contact lens aims to offer tactile sight for the blind

The Faculty of Engineering at Israel's Bar Ilan University has developed a prototype of a contact lens which could enable the visually impaired to see the world in a whole new light. Developed by Professor Zeev Zalevsky, the contact lens processes digital images and translates them into tactile sensations which can then be felt on the user's cornea, allowing them to form a picture of their physical surroundings. Read More

Medical

Portable scanner designed to make eye exams quicker and easier

If you're like a lot of people, you don't make an annual trip to the ophthalmologist to get your eyes checked ... and you really ought to, in order to catch any problems before it's too late. If it were possible to get them checked at a regular doctor's office or clinic, though, perhaps you might do so more often. That's one of the reasons that a team at MIT have designed a new hand-held retinal scanner, that can quickly and easily be used anywhere.Read More

Wearables

eSight acts like a hearing aid for the eyes

If someone has difficulty hearing, they can use a hearing aid to boost the level of sounds reaching their ear. If someone has limited vision to the point that they're considered legally blind, however, it's not like they can just use an electronic "seeing aid" ... right? Actually, that's just what eSight is. Read More

Wearables

On the ball: Eone debuts a tactile watch for the visually impaired

Unfortunately, there aren't many options available for the visually impaired when it comes to timepieces. While a number of talking watches and braille wristwatches with removable covers are already on the market, those often draw attention to a person's disability. That's why watchmaker Eone's debut timepiece, the Bradley, indicates the time with magnetic ball bearings that can be read subtly by touch.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

OrCam aims to improve quality of life for the visually impaired

The OrCam is a small camera linked to a very powerful wearable computer. It sees what you see and through your finger-pointing understands what information you seek, relaying auditory feedback through a bone conduction earpiece. Using an intuitive user interface, the device can read text, recognize faces, identify objects and places, locate bus numbers and even monitor traffic lights. Read More

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