Students make iF prize list with ‘Blind Guider’
An orientation system designed by four Taiwanese students to help the visually impaired keep track of their direction while on the move was selected as one of the eight best concepts submitted for an iF Student Design Award in 2015.
The system, called “Blind Guider,” was designed and developed by four students at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology. It was one of 16 Taiwanese works awarded the iF Label, one of the world’s influential marks for young design talent.
The “Blind Guider” uses Radiofrequency identification (RFID) technology to announce street names and the direction as the users walk on city streets.
If the orientation modules installed in guide tiles on streets are touched by a white cane, the location-related information will be emitted over earphones and give users audible directions.
One of the device’s developers, Ma Hui-chuan ( ), said she and her classmates came up with the idea after her dog scared a blind pedestrian off his course while she was walking the dog, she said.
Ma and her teammates Cheng Yan-jang, Wang Chih-hao and Lee Yin-kai jointly shared prize money of 3,750 euros (US$4,219) given to each of the eight best designs among the 100 winning teams.
“A very simple design idea de- veloped to build on and enhance an already existing system. The earphones can be quickly and easily used to provide guidance. With Blind Guider, visually-impaired us- ers will experience a huge increase in quality of life,” the 73-member judging panel said in its evaluation of the orientation system.
Around 12,000 works from 68 countries were admitted to the iF Student Design Award competition this year. The winners received their awards at the iF design exhibition in Hamburg May 28.
Ma Hui-chuan ( ) of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, poses with her team’s prize-winning design, “Blind Guider” ( ), yesterday. Ma, along with her three other teammates, had developed the Blind Guider to help the visually impaired keep track of their direction. The design won an iF Student Design Award in 2015.