Geek Therapy
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Geek Therapy
How Geek Culture is saving the world. Can geeky, nerdy, and techy things help heal the world? Absolutely. | For the Geek Therapy Podcast and more, visit http://www.geektherapy.com.
Curated by Josué Cardona
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App Turns Smartphone Into Virtual Cane for the Blind

App Turns Smartphone Into Virtual Cane for the Blind | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
A smartphone app inspired by Greek mythology has the potential to help the blind navigate indoors where GPS is unavailable.
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Richard Platt's curator insight, January 11, 2014 10:16 AM

Awesome use case for helping the blind,  How cool is that?

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Georgie App For The Blind Helps Visually Impaired Android Users Navigate Everyday Life

Georgie App For The Blind Helps Visually Impaired Android Users Navigate Everyday Life | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
Whether it is getting off a bus or reading a menu, a new app aims to make life easier for the blind or visually impaired.

 

Called Georgie, the app for Android devices enables people with little or no sight to accomplish daily activities that could be difficult for them.

 

The app can make calls or send texts but it also provides location-based technologies, which can let users know, for example, when the next bus is coming, which direction they're facing, or the ability to set location-based reminders.

 

"You can actually record a GPS-tagged voice label to say ‘dangerous steps' and as you're approaching it the phone will tell you that there are dangerous steps there," explained Alan Dean Kemp, the chief technology officer. Kemp added that the app is not meant to replace a seeing-eye dog, but to provide added assistance.

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Virtual Game Helps the Blind Navigate New Environments

Virtual Game Helps the Blind Navigate New Environments | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

Researchers in the Department of Ophthalmology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Harvard Medical School developed a virtual game to help the blind find their way through new surroundings using computer generated layouts of public buildings.

 

Participants can interact with the virtual environment with a keyboard and rather than relying on visual cues, the game uses auditory cues to help orient the player. According to a new report, the team of researchers are looking to incorporate other interfaces and tools such as a Wii remote or joystick.

 

Dr. Lotfi Merabet, a contributor to the study, says the game metaphor allows for open discoveryand a better understanding of layouts compared to participants simply following directions.

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By adding gaming elements, the researchers found it more effective than simply making an empty virtual map. 

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Glasses Could Help the Blind See like Geordi La Forge in ‘Star Trek’

Glasses Could Help the Blind See like Geordi La Forge in ‘Star Trek’ | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

The goal of the research team, located at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, is to be able to treat 85% percent of clinically blind people, including the ability to restore sight to partially blind people without messing up what vision they already have. According to the Al Jazeera report, testing with blind subjects is planned to start within the next two years.

 

Currently, the research team’s prototype looks a DIY version of Geordi’s visor, but the ultimate plan is to build a pair of ordinary-looking glasses outfitted with two digital cameras: one outside to capture images of the surrounding environment and one inside to track the movement of the eyeballs.

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