Blinds need all the help, they can get while navigating in the big city. The biggest fear is not that they will get hit by a car, but that they will ultimately get lost without help for a long time. Sure there are people who have carefully trained themselves to remember ways to the park, to the grocery store and to the nearest hospital, but when going somewhere new comes in to the picture, the blinds are helpless.
Designers Jang Cheng, Hui-Chuan Ma, Chih-Hao Wang and Yin-Kai Li have come up with a concept that is low on the realism scale but high in concept and if implemented, might offer a solution to the aforementioned problem for good. It’s called Smart Bricks. A network of microchips and wires integrated in to the roads and sidewalks to help the blind navigate.
The idea is that a network of Radio frequency Identification chips will be embedded all around the city. A device will then be embedded in side the canes of the blind. This device will interact with the sidewalks and the roads and will transmit information to a tiny earpiece about where the person is and where they need to turn to reach their destination.
All of this will of course mean turning all or part of a city digital and completely connected to the internet which is possible in the next 100 years but not in the near future.