Stu­dents make iF prize list with ‘Blind Guider’

The China Post - - LOCAL -

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.

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