For World Sight Day, Not Impossible Now rounds up our previous stories about inventions for the visually impaired.

The Gizmonyx Visor. (Photo credit: Elliot Kotek)

The Gizmonyx Visor. (Photo credit: Elliot Kotek)

Since today is World Sight Day, we're rounding up previous stories we’ve covered about people aiding the visually impaired with amazing inventions.

Solving Problems

Not Impossible Now’s editor-in-chief Elliot Kotek met the Gizmonyx team at a recent TEDMED event and found out how their Visor device and other initiatives make blindness an option instead of a disability.

"We make things to restore vision for low-vision, for people that have tunnel vision, or retinitis pigmentosa, or glaucoma, or whatever," Gizmonyx founder/developer Nate Devault explained. "We've developed a visor that's people can put on and restore their vision to normal sight. It shrinks the world down to their tunnel vision field of view, so that they can get a better image, so they can regain the sight that they lose from having no peripheral vision." 

"It’s definitely heartwarming to be able to create something and solve a problem that people have," Devault said. "But it's not until you actually see somebody put it on for the first time that you can really get those warm fuzzies, when you somebody that has that look on their face, knowing that their life is never gonna be the same again." Read the full post.

Toys Delight Visually-Impaired Children

At this year's Maker Faire NYC, Not Impossible Now caught up with Chloe Koo of HugMatch. Koo designs toys that enable visually-impaired children and sighted children to play together. The toys also help visually-impaired children improve their social skills and train their audio and tactile senses.

"To find out what can help visually impaired people, I visited and interviewed people from schools and societies for the blind in New York and New Jersey," Koo said. "I learned that between the ages of 2 and 5 is the most important period of development. After 5 years of age, the fingertips' senses dull, so exposing 2- to 5-year-olds to a variety of fundamental experiences is essential."

"I saw the different style of toys that they've got, and so I tried designing Hugmatch to focus on the things the visually-impaired children lack, such as the understanding of an object, communication skills, and social interaction with peers." Read the full post.

Teen Turns to Oculus Rift

Australian teenager Ethan Butson uses the Oculus Rift system to make a black-and-white world for the sight-impaired, helping them with their daily function.

At the Intel science fair, Butson explained his Oculus Rift program animates what the visually impaired see into a purely black-and-white picture, so the edges of all objects are clearly defined and colors of one piece of furniture no longer blend into the background nor the objects sitting beside them. Watch our video interview with Butson.

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