Tag Archives | Blindness

Blind Man Takes Photographs Thanks to Sonification Technology

Sonification technology is letting a blind photographer take holiday snaps with sound, and even hear images of Pluto.

via New Scientist:

Imagine taking photographs you can hear – thanks to sonification technology that translates the visual world into sound.

Pranav Lal, a cybersecurity expert from Delhi, India, was born blind and he’s been using technology called the vOICe to take holiday snaps, most recently while trekking in the Himalayas.

The technology was designed to help people who are visually impaired navigate the world. But Lal frequently uses it for photography where he picks out the most pleasant sounding composition. “Scenes with varied elements sound interesting, for example, a bridge with lots of cables or a bright natural setting with streams and rocks,” he says. “It’s like an image orchestra.”

The vOICe transmits an image from a camera to computer software to be turned into sound. In Lal’s case, the camera part was a smartphone upgraded with a fisheye lens strapped to a sports headband.

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Blind Chinese Activist Escapes House Arrest

Chen GuangchengHe slipped past 100 security guards, scaled a wall and swam across a river to freedom. Reports Olivia Katrandjian on ABC News:

The U.S. State Department is being tight-lipped on the whereabouts of blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, who escaped house arrest last week, but the organization that helped him escape says he’s in the hands of U.S. diplomats.

Chen, a 40-year-old human rights activist who has campaigned for disabled rights and against forced abortions, scaled a wall and slipped past around 100 security guards surrounding his house. Bob Fu, the founder and president of ChinaAid, which aided Chen in his getaway, called the escape an “extraordinary adventure.”

“He walked for hours from his own home in the middle of the night. He was wounded, wet, covered in mud. He swam across a river,” Fu told ABC News. Chen was picked up by supporters and driven to Beijing on April 23.

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‘Bionic Eye’ Implant Gives Hope To The Blind


Photo: Jalal Volker (CC)

“I see,” said the blind man, with the bionic eye. For centuries the hearing impaired have used devices to aid their hearing, but it is only till now that we may be able to help the blind see again. Bangkok Post reports:

For a man whose view of the world has slowly faded to black over 30 years, a device that allows him to see flashes of light has kindled his hope of one day gazing upon his grandson’s face.

A career electrician who grew up in Greece and came to the United States as a young man, Elias Konstantopoulos first noticed his vision getting poorer when at age 43 he absentmindedly tried on a relative’s eyeglasses and found he could see more clearly with them than without.

Soon after, he visited a doctor who tested his sight and discovered he was no longer able to see his outstretched arms from the corners of his eyes.

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‘Gay Dog’ Refused Entry To Australian Restaurant

Sparkey The Gay DogSeriously, WTF?! Did the dog sound like George Clooney, what was the tip-off? Sarah Mennie writes in the Herald Sun:

A restaurant in a northwest suburb of Adelaide that refused a blind man entry because it thought his guide dog was “gay” was ordered by the Equal Opportunity Tribunal to pay him $1500.

A statement given by restaurant owners Hong Hoa Thi To and Anh Hoang Le said one of the restaurant’s waiters said that Mr Jolly’s partner Ms Chris Lawrence stated “she wanted to bring a gay dog into the restaurant.”

Mr Jolly and Ms Lawrence were refused entry to the restaurant – which displays a “guide dogs welcome” sign — even after providing staff with a guide dogs fact card.

At an Equal Opportunity Tribunal conciliation hearing on Friday, the restaurant agreed to provide Mr Jolly with a written apology and attend an Equal Opportunity education course, in addition to paying him $1500.

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