Making public information accessible for the visually impaired
Normal vision vs. glaukoma visionTo my surprise they still preferred their vision ahead of other senses.Evaluation of mock ups.Visual aid that doesn't brand the users as disabled.Their former perception of reality and how it would be improved.Stored and charged in the casing, through hidden connectors in the joints.

Abstract

The exclusion of visually impaired from the information flow presented to us through signs was what led me into this project. With a growing amount of information being presented to us on signs and digital information surfaces the need of communicating this information in a way that could be read by visually impaired is evident. Looking into different ways of communication, my goal was to create something that filled the need of the visually impaired without branding them as disabled.

Inspiration and Method

Having a close relative with bad eyesight it became evident on how much it limited her in her everyday life, not being able to navigate herself without the support of her husband. Through interviews with her and others with varying diagnoses I reached an insight in their situation. To my surprise they still favored a visual form of communication before an auditory or tactile form, because it’s easy to survey and quick to interpret. Through an iterative process of prototyping and close discussions with the users I reached the conclusion that a head-mounted device would simplify the usage and, with the latest developments in component size, also manifest into something that didn’t run the risk of discriminating the users.

Result

This resulted in a pair of glasses with built in electronics and displays. Through cameras mounted on the frames, the visual information is transferred to a CPU in the left temple arm that analyses and enhances the image with software designed for your specific diagnosis. When you feel the need to enhance your vision, you use the controls on top of the temple arms to control the software’s output which is displayed in transparent OLED-displays glued on to the lenses. If the enhanced image isn’t enough, you also have the possibility to let the software use text-to-speech and read the information through built in speakers directed towards the ears. The glasses could easily be dismounted with USB-connectors at the joints which aids the installment of the software, service or customization of the device and in particular the charging of the battery, which is located in the right temple arm. The battery is then charged in a designated compartment of the spectacle box.