Being the techno-geek and gadget-hoarder that I fully admit to, the following article rings true for me in so many ways. One of my side-hobbies is to offer my consultative services to various individuals/inventors, so as to comment on their products and/or devices that they are designing for the blind population throughout the world. Admittedly, some things that I evaluate are pretty amazing, while others? Well, read the article and you’ll find a few examples of badly researched ideas.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad inventors and developers are out there, thinking out of the box, trying to help with the challenges that blind people encounter from a day to day basis. But, it’s important to ask your target audience, what are the challenges and how could we better address them. And what’s the deal with all of these vibrating way-finding devices anyway? Everything from vibrating shoes, belts, bracelets and even a wearable clip. The premise is similar in all these devices: get close to an object and the product will vibrate, alerting you to an obstacle. Admittedly, this would be great for finding the end of a Tim Hortons lineup, but I digress. Of course, these aren’t stand-alone solutions, they are an augmentative way-finding product. So I shouldn’t be too hard on them.
At any rate, I could wax on this topic Ad nauseam, but figure you’ll get more out of that blog entry I referred to above. Besides, it has a catchy name; catchier than mine anyway.
Blind Eye for the Sighted Guy