Saturday, August 8, 2015

See with your tongue: What technology blind can still help – Wirtschaftswoche

A mouthpiece which is connected by cable to the camera translates the images into electrical impulses on the tongue. Does the camera film about a cup, paint electrodes in the form of cup with a resolution of 400 dpi on the tongue. The user experiences the image as a vibration. He approaches the cup, the stimulation reinforced the pattern grows in the mouth.

“When the eyes of the sensor visual stimuli are available, the brain looking for an alternative. Blind transfer the information on the tongue directly into the visual cortex, “says CEO of Wicab, Robert Beckman.

But knows where a blind person, like a cup looks like? Who is blind only in the course of his life, recalls the object. Who is blind since birth, objects palpated or puts them in front on the basis of accounts. It was necessary to exercise, says Beckman. “Who wants to see with the glasses, takes time. The idea is to interpret the patterns correctly, that’s like you learn a new language.

With a lot of hard work is, according to Beckmann then but much possible. Blind could navigate safely, read short words or even play darts, as he says the portal Bloomberg Businessweek. What sounds to Alice in Wonderland, seems to work. Studies show that 69 percent of 74 test subjects were able to recognize objects after a year of training.

The technology is indeed available in Germany, has $ 10,000, which is about 9,200 euros, but its price , Beckmann hopes that in future participate health insurance to the cost.

Who does not want to wait for the smart glasses on the market or are affordable, makes do with the Smartphone. Apps like “Blind Square” inform the reading mode where the next cafes, supermarkets and shops. The Kinoapp “Greta” Users can listen to audio descriptions parallel to the film. “TapTapSee” identifies objects on mobile photos, “Prizmo” scan and read documents before. When dressing up the application “ColorSay” helps -. They recognize colors and prevent unfavorable combinations like brown blouse for black trousers

Human helper

In other work applications such as ” VizWiz “or” Be My Eyes “. Instead of a software there are people who can help. Has a registered user about difficulties in finding the correct doorbell, he turns on the app. You pings to the helper, who has time logs via videochat. The self-test shows that after just one minute, the connection is to a helper who is easy to see what the mobile phone camera is pointed. In our case:. A desk fan

The Danish non-profit App Be my Eyes use in Germany about 13,000 people. Worldwide offer approximately 260,000 people their support, without financial gain.

The examples demonstrate how digitization can circumvent barriers for visually impaired or blind.


While all apps and web services are far from being usable. The German Blind and Visually Impaired (DBSV) recommends that at about the “ Information Pool computer aids for the visually impaired”, shortly INCOBS inform. Experts test there, what equipment, software and tools for the blind actually afford.

Nevertheless, the interest in the digital helpers could grow , An estimate on the data of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Germany of about 1.2 million blind or visually impaired people. The demographic development could increase the number of people affected. Because age-related macular degeneration is in the western industrialized countries the most common cause of blindness.

  • Page 1: As high-tech glasses blind help
  • Page 2: What technology blind can still help

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