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    REY is a personal wearable companion that uses artificial intelligence to adjust to the user’s needs. For persons with visual impairments, the ta… Read More
    REY is a personal wearable companion that uses artificial intelligence to adjust to the user’s needs. For persons with visual impairments, the tactile navigation, description and localisation of objects through 3D sound facilitates a more independent life. While the hands-free use of smartphone-based applications on the go, makes a connected live easier for everybody. Read Less
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THEME seeing beyond vision loss
COOPERATION VANBERLO, FH Joanneum
MASTER THESIS individual work
FOCUS
interaction, co-creation
DURATION 6 months
How to enable people with visual impairments
to independence & participation in society?
CORE IDEA
REY is a personal wearable companion that uses artificial intelligence to adjust to the user’s needs. For persons with visual impairments, the tactile navigation, description and localization of objects through 3D sound facilitates a more independent life. While the hands-free use of smartphone-based applications on the go, makes a connected live easier for everybody.
Interviews, emphatic modeling techniques, a fair visit and an online survey helped to familiarize with the user group of people with visual impairments. The found insights were basis for an ideation workshop that brought up various ideas. I discussed the most promising ones in a focus group session with people representing the target group in order to filter out the concept idea.
The thee main innovations for people with visual impairments: tactile turn by turn navigation, localizing objects by sound proximity and localizing objects by 3D sound are visualized below. Prototyping and testing these new ways of interaction helped to refine and optimize them. Feedback from the people representing the target group and their insights in everyday life use, served as valuable input for the final functions and design.
DESIGN
The design of REY follows four main principles that I discovered to be essential for the target group. These are to give the product a simple and distinct use, to follow the two senses principle, to support in learning how the product works and to support order an rituals.
„Blind people have a lot more rituals, it gives safety.“
Sara Jane Friend McDonald, Orientation and Mobility specialist
For covering the whole use scenario I designed a home charging cradle for the wearable product. The station is designed to support users in daily rituals and help them keep order. Converting the cradle into a practical casing makes it easy to take REY along while traveling.
„Order is the most important principle.“
Leitner Waltraud, LPF trainer
"The packaging is great, because I can understand and start using the product on my own."
Pupil, low vision
Use cases
In the last focus group sessions, I could show the final models to possible users, which was a great experience.
Together we discussed a lot of diverse personal use cases, that highlighted the individuality of REY.
Process video & final user evaluation (below)