Enter Cities Unlocked, a project intended to help people with sight loss navigate cities. The brainchild of a blind Microsoft employee, it uses GPS, a 3D audio headset, and Bluetooth beacons, among other technologies. [...]
“I’m a blind person, I need to keep my ears open,” she says. The headset uses bone-conducting technology, in which vibrations create a “3D soundscape” around the user. — nextcity.org
The absence of these rules can frustrate the newly sighted, whose visual world can be both blurry and two-dimensional—paintings and people are often described as “flat, with dark patches”; a far-away house is “nearby, but requiring the taking of a lot of steps”; streetlights seen through glass are “luminous stains stuck to the window”; sunbeams through tree branches collapse into a single “tree with all the lights in it. — New Yorker
Downey needed something tactile to work with, and he found it in a kids' toy. Spread out before him on the table are stacks of embossed plans ... marked up with brightly colored wax sticks. [...]
The sticks warm to the touch and bend easily; they can make precise angles, and—crucially for Downey—their tackiness makes them stick to paper. "Once I realized that, I thought, 'Oh, I could use that to draw on top of an embossed drawing.'" Suddenly, he had a way not just to read, but to make. — sf.curbed.com
After Chris Downey, of Piedmont, lost his sight, rather than change careers, he stayed with architecture. Now, with the help of a white cane and drawings that have raised figures, Downey plans buildings for the blind. -- SF Gate
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