The Eye Can Exhibition (19 May, Bath) is only four weeks away!
Come along and listen to some fascinating talks from guest speakers, Amar Shah, Sight Research Uk, and VisionBridge.
Have a wander through a diverse range of exhibitors and find out about the latest in tech, products and services for anyone living with sight loss.
The Eye Can Exhibition (19 May, Bath) is only four weeks away! Come along and listen to some fascinating talks from guest speakers, Amar Shah, Sight Research Uk, and VisionBridge. Have a wander through a diverse range of exhibitors and find out about the latest in tech, products and services for anyone living with sight loss.
The Eye Can Bath Exhibition will be taking place at Bath Pavilion on Friday the 19th of May 2023 from 10 am to 3.30 pm.
This event is hosted by both Sight Support West of England and Wiltshire Sight and is sponsored by Newmedica, Optelec, Irwin Mitchell and Associated Optical.
Entry is free and you can book your place by visiting the Eventbrite booking page or contacting Sight Support West of England / Wiltshire Sight directly on 0117 322 4885.
“1:30 pm VisionBridge – Talk title: Innovative Assistive Technology
Julian Jackson is the founder of Visionbridge, a unique social enterprise which champions both eye research and the development of innovative technologies. Julian’s talk includes examples of technical ingenuity in the field of vision enhancement, object recognition and avoidance, and navigation and orientation, and he will explore the rehabilitative value these offer.”
A few thoughts prior to my Talk on 19 May: As a blind advocate for eye research and assistive technology (AT), I have a personal as well as professional interest in the ongoing tech evolution and revolution that is focusing on maximising accessibility and inclusivity for vi/blind communities in built environments.
Alongside our basic discovery scientists, there is an equally impressive cohort of technology developers in universities and the private sector who are working tirelessly to rehabilitate visually impaired individuals with AT, whether it is integrated in a computer, Ipad, Iphone or indeed features in Smart portables or wearables. Check out Sight and Sound Technology for an exemplar range of assistive technologies.
Two stand-out examples are the fields of digital wayfinding (check out Waymap) and Smart (Crossing) infrastructure. I’m sure I speak for vi/blind communities worldwide when I say I want to remain as mobile, independent, safe and informed as possible, as I move around the built environment. This sets the bar very high for tech developers, as we need highly accurate and reliable wayfinding solutions *(150words) that do not necessarily need constant gps connectivity, can be kept in the pocket and navigate us from point to point both inside and outside with step by step description, re-routing, live update and human and/or AI support functionality. Check out Waymap here.
We also need to orientate to our surroundings and indeed avoid obstacles and recognise objects at the same time.
Crucially, we need to cross the road safely too and this requires the ability to trigger the traffic lights on our command, armed with the appropriate assistive technology. It is worth noting that the transferable impact that eye research has been making in other areas of research such as cancer, diabetes and dementia, is also reflected in the tech innovations that are emerging from vi/blind assistive tech which can now support those with a variety of sensory, motor and cognitive challenges. This is brilliantly demonstrated in the area of Smart Crossings, where a SmartApp, SmartButton, SmartTube and SmartWrist have been created for vi/blind users. Check out Sm@rt Technology.
Until recently, AT had been over-priced, over-thought and over-engineered but those days are now behind us. Tech developers like WeWalk (I am a personal fan and user) have listened and learned and adapted their technologies accordingly, turning the promise of a “safe and seamless end-to-end journey solution” which we have all been dreaming about, into a reality!