A company called Envision has designed a set of glasses that uses artificial intelligence to help blind people with a wide range of activities. They can decode text, detect color and describe outdoor scenes to the wearer, among many other functions.
Paralympic athletes are in Tokyo to compete and maybe to win a gold medal, if they can. The benchmark for Paralympic gold, by the way: 55 medals by a single athlete, swimmer Trischa Zorn. Plus: today in 1936, a newspaper ran a short piece about inventor Isabella Gilbert and her dimple-making machine.
For Flag Day, we present the story of Superflag, a 505 foot long, 255 foot tall American flag that was once flown over Hoover Dam (because they don't make flagpoles that large). Plus: a Durham University study finds people can use click-based echolocation effectively in the real world after just 10 weeks of practice!
The internet and social media don't do a great job making the very visual world of meme culture accessible to blind users. The new podcast "Say My Meme" describes those memes so everyone can enjoy them. Plus: Madagascar is home to the "nano-chameleon," believed to be the smallest lizard in the world.
The technology I like best is the technology that helps people do what they couldn’t do before, like a new brain implant that can put images from a camera in front of blind people. Plus: Rita Ebel is making the German town of Hanau more accessible for wheelchair uses, by using LEGO.
A growing number of hockey fans are paying attention to blind hockey, where players have either full blindness or 10 percent vision or less. That puts the emphasis on sound. Plus: introducing the Telecaster guitar that's been signed by 16 Navajo code talkers!
UCLA is testing a brain implant that takes the images captured by a tiny camera and converts them into electrical impulses that stimulate the part of the brain responsible for sight. It helps blind people detect darkness and lightness, as well as sensing motion.
The weWALK is a smart cane for blind pedestrians, with ultrasonic sensors to detect obstacles ahead and Google Maps connections to navigate through and describe the surrounding area. Plus: if you like pickles, the Big Dill festival is back this weekend in Baltimore.
The busiest part of the year for travelers is coming, meaning that at airports, there will be a lot of people around to clonk into each other. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University may have a solution: a collision-detecting suitcase.