12 gadgets that make life easy for the visually impaired

visually impaired
Latest innovations in technology may have changed the life of normal users, but there are very few or no gadgets to assist or entertain special users. Usually special users, especially visually impaired, feel estranged as they hardly get a chance to interact with others in their day-to-day lives. Have a look at some of the most unique gadgets that promise to add some flavor to the bleak, isolated lives of the visually impaired.
na:vi GPS navigating system
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Developed by a group of designers, including Pia Weitgasser, Kristina Chudikova, Joe Müller, the “na:vi” is a GPS navigating system that allows the visually impaired to move freely without any help or assistance from others. Featuring guiding gyroscopes, the navigation system also integrates laser range finder, together with the GPS navigation with 3D user interface to ensure a safe and accurate direction finding. Read more
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Intended towards the visually impaired, the “Aicomobile” by Russian designer Lord Leon is an innovative cellphone that not just allows the special user to make or receive a call, but also gives the possibility of sending SMS. Resembling a Rubik’s Cube, the mobile handset features Braille fonts and numbers that the blind can identify and dial to make a call (using earphones) or even an SMS with minimum fuss. Read more
Thimble finger glove
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Designer Erik Hedberg teaming up with Zack Bennet has developed an innovative finger glove that apart from working as a magic wand also allows multimedia access to the visually impaired. Hailed as “Thimble,” the concept device embeds an optical scanner capable of translating paper text into Braille messages on the fingertip of the glove. Read more
Touch & Go navigator
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Conceived by Russian designer Natalia Ponomareva, the “Touch & Go” is a navigation system for the visually impaired, which navigates them in the outside world and makes them autonomous even beyond the four walls of their homes. Combining a hand gadget with earpiece, the device can be worn around the hand like a fashionable accessory. Featuring a tactile display that shows the directions as a relief map, the wearable navigator uses 1:1000 scale and plum in the center depicts the position of the user. Read more
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The “Readot” by designer Suhyun Kim is an innovative device or aid that allows special users an opportunity to be an integral part of the mainstream. Employing the latest technology, the radical device allows users to take, reload and scan photos or any other content and convert it into Braille within no time, so they could keep themselves update with the happenings going on around the world. Read more
Stick Talk
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Korean designer Sungjun Cha has come up with an innovative device called the “Stick Talk” that when talking to a deaf person displays your spoken words on a screen to ensure easy communication. While on the other hand, the hearing impaired can express his/her thoughts by writing sentences on the palm with the stick, which senses the text to either display it on the screen or verbalize it for the listener. Read more
Visual Hearing Aid
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Entitled the “Visual Hearing Aid,” the device concept as depicted by its name combines the function of both the visual and hearing aid to display what other people are saying via two projectors to the user. Capturing the sound through two microphones to filter the speech, the device uses speech to text translation software on embedded controllers to display the speech as text via two projectors. Read more
plan.b digital map
German designer Rob has come up with a digital street map named the “plan.b” that provides a tactile representation of surroundings to the visually impaired, navigating them safely in puzzling lanes. The digital map not only let the user feel the surface to sense the information of the surroundings, but offers additional audio information by pressing the displayed structures as well. Read more
SimpleSee mobile phone
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Making life easy for special users, British designer Emma Caddick has created a mobile phone concept that presents simple functions to make and receive phone calls without the help of others. Hailed as “SimpleSee,” the new phone also features large, easy to read graphics and a high contrast casing with an easy to grip edging, ensuring complete safety and ease of use. Read more
WuFu glasses
The “WuFu” is an open hardware and open source aid that makes use of ultrasonic distance measurement, employed by the bat to fly without colliding with other bats in the dark. Drawing its name from the Chinese phrase “five bats” representing a symbol of luck and a long life, the visual aid carries the ultrasonic waves to sensors on opaque glasses and translates them, using two motors attached to the wrists of the wearer, into vibrations. Read more
ANPLE rice cooker
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Intended toward the visually impaired, the “ANPLE” by Chinese designer SJia Law is an innovative rice cooker that helps the blind users prepare their meals without any assistance. Featuring three buttons on the burning tank to set the water and heating level, the blind rice cooker also includes a speaker to prompt existing settings to reduce the difficulty of measurement for the blind cook. Featuring a simple yet stylish design, the new appliance presents an ergonomic handle to open the cover in a more convenient way. Read more
Braille Block
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To make the sign language easy for beginners, Taiwanese designer Fanson Meng has developed a palmtop gadget dubbed the “Braille Block” that works like a handheld game to motivate the learner. Based on the six dots of Braille, the buttons of the device are easy to use that encourages the learning skills in a playful manner. Read more


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