Monday, 7 December 2015

How new technology helps blind people explore the world

How can technology help improve our quality of life? How can we navigate the world without using the sense of vision? Inventor and IBM Fellow Chieko Asakawa, who's been blind since the age of fourteen, is working on answering these questions. In a charming demo, she shows off some new technology that's helping blind people explore the world ever more independently ... because, she suggests, when we design for greater accessibility, everyone benefits.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting talk. I'm totally blind myself and use tech to do lots of things. The question is whether I use tech to make me more independent or whether
    I want to look as much like a sighted person as I can. The lady in the talk says that she needed help to get onto the stage and that's true if she wants
    to do it quickly in the same way as a sighted person would. I, and probably she, could get onto the stage perfectly well, but we'd have to explore and
    it would take longer - I love exploring. I use tech to explore the internet, write comments like this one, Tweet, write email, read my post, identify the
    contents of packaging, look up train times, read news and much more. Sometimes it works well and at other times I'm told that the box of tissues I'm holding
    is a two litre bottle of milk! Tech also has it's downsides: touch screens being just one of them! I had to give up working as a sound engineer at a local
    music venue because they bought a new mixing desk with a touch screen. So, yes, tech is fabulous and I can't wait for my driverless car to be licenced
    for the road, but it has it's dounsides too and nothing can replace inquisitiveness, tenacity, a willingness to take risks and a sheer determination to
    live!

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