Article by: Lucas Ramos

While technology is a convenient and useful a boon for most of us, we sometimes wonder how it can benefit the disabled- especially the blind. Fortunately, there are many researchers who have considered this and are working hard to help these people access major developments in technology as many of us have.

One new interesting new development is an application known as Be My Eyes, designed to “lend eyes to the blind.” With this application, blind people can be connected to a user with sight via their smartphone. Through this the blind person can ask questions that he needs sight for. These tasks range from reading the expiration date on a bottle of milk to figuring out the landscape around a new place. Currently, the application has helped blind people ‘see’ about 8000 times. However, if more people realize that this technology exists, more blind people can be helped. This shows that while technology tends to have some inaccessible features for the blind, people are finding ways to help the blind through technology as well.

On the other hand, the smartphone known as the Ray N5 is specifically designed for the blind. While it looks like a normal smartphone, there are many features included that help the blind. For example, the whole interface is built on a “touch anywhere, slide your finger and lift” method, thus making access to certain commands simple. Thus, a blind person would simply need to remember each of the possible gestures to open things. In addition, voice commands can be dictated directly to the phone. Finally, special scanner stickers can be put onto everyday objects which, combined with the NFC scanner on the phone, can help identify those objects. Coupled with an in-built app similar to Be My Eyes, the Ray N5 works as a blind person’s best friend.

Overall, the evolution of technology has led to several staggering developments in the world. While Be My Eyes and the Ray N5 depict the extent to which technology can help blind people, they only show a small fraction of what technology can really do. We can only expect greater things from the future.

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