Sunday, September 26, 2010

VIA (Visually Impaired Assistant) promises a new way to visualize life

While on one of my "innovative-post worthy- design" browsing sessions I encountered VIA; a  modern, cutting-edge alternative to the blind cane. Calling VIA an alternative is of short character because it simply accomplishes much more than a blind cane can. 

So what exactly is VIA? It is a pair of devices (one for each hand) designed to aid the blind circulate. It dispenses feedback in form of vibrations which make the individual aware of both, stationary and moving objects along his/her path. In order to attain this, VIA uses 4 small cameras and a voice operated GPS. One may simply command it to navigate you to a desired specific location.
I must touch upon the fact that I still have many queries. Canes are undisputedly low tech, yet still offer a certain sense of security; and I cannot help but to think of all the concerns running through a blind persons mind while solely confiding on these small metal devices with cameras and sensors on their hands. "What if it runs out of power? or just plain out randomly fails?"  I assume these to be water resistant and I sure hope they can navigate the person without having to route every destination through the GPS feature. 

Here are pictures and a promising video for a better visual. 
One thing...VIA is definitely stylish

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