Coffee Time Challenge: Second sight

For the visually-impaired, life can be an obstacle course. Objects that those of us fortunate enough to be able to see take for granted or barely even bother to register represent potentially harmful hazards to those who can’t perceive them other than by touch, making even the most mundane journey into a hazardous enterprise.

Add to that the extent to which modern life is predicated on our ability to absorb and interpret visual data in order to navigate even the most basic tasks. Consider for one moment not being able to use a computer or mobile phone easily, or being unable to see signs, advertising, instructions or public service information and you suddenly begin to understand the difficulties facing the visually impaired.

Over the years, of course, mankind has found ways to mitigate some of these problems. From the humble stick through Braille or the use of guide dogs, there are options to make life slightly easier.

But in this day and age, where technology pervades every part of our lives, it seems incongruous that the solutions offered to the visually impaired should be so resolutely low-tech.

The Challenge

So that is this issue’s challenge: to find a solution that allows the visually-impaired not only to perceive their environment more fully, but even to identify specific objects or even ‘read’ messages.

As ever, we have a fascinating solution in mind, but we can’t wait to see what you come up with.