Being the Eye For the Blind
Team Hues, enlightenment of education
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Staring deep into the horizon, a man was sitting by the sea watching the waves splashing against the thirty-foot cliff. Although this is not a sentence with diverse adjectives, people who have been to the sea at least once in their lives and have seen it with their very own eyes would be able to picture the scene quite visually in their own ways.
“Because blind people are lacking one of their senses, they seem to be missing out on a lot of fun in the world, which is why we have decided to become the eye for them,” commented Shin Jung-ah (Information System, 3rd year). Team Hues, consisting of Shin, Sung Young-jae (Business, 4th year) and two developers from different colleges have created “Miris: Memorable Iris”, which is a device that enables blind people to hear the texts being read out into speech.
Team Hues, light and hope for All
Team Hues have already won grand prizes in several contests with their brilliant technological idea for its high degree of completion and marketability. Over 90 percent of blind people are illiterate in Korea, meaning that only 10 percent of blind people in Korea are able to read braille. Yet there are not so many devices that enable blind people to be able to read or study. Most of the devices are targeted towards the 10 percent of the literate blind since it is much cheaper to develop and is easier to do so through braille. What team Hues have targeted were those in the 90 percent majority of blind people who cannot read braille, although they could speak Korean.
“It is very obvious that knowledge inequality comes from not the disability itself, but rather from the lack of developers trying to help blind people eager to learn more,” pointed out Shin. Miris is a small camera device that people can wear like glasses and connects with the earphones to let them hear the texts being read out. Through the text to speech (TTS) technology, the camera would analyze the fonts which would let the people “hear” the books they wish to read.
What is more interesting is that Miris would have a bookmark system which would let blind people find the book they were reading, plus mark the pages that they have read. Through the RFID and NFC chips, the Miris sensors would scan the microchips and would react to the sensor. Since there are so many cutting-edge technologies involved in this one machine, such as image processing technology, OCR, the text to speech, and so on, Miris has yet to be commercialized as the miniaturization process has yet to be developed.
As the team name represents, team Hues will continue to suggest new pathways of enlightenment for the blind. They believe true knowledge comes from books, even with the development of the Internet--and Hues is determined to bring a new dimension to the educational sector for the blind.
Kim Seung Jun firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Choi Minju
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