Best of 2008 Invention

Chueh Lee, a designer at Samsung in China, was probably too optimistic when he decided to break the limits of paradoxical and design the Touch Sight camera. Or maybe he was just too determined to offer to the visually impaired individuals a chance to do one of the few things they do not expect to do in their lives because of being born blind, such as shooting a picture. No matter what his motivation was, his unique idea was named as one of the best inventions of 2008 and for me it was the best by far.

In fact, gadgets for the visually impaired individuals are not new, but the Touch Sight camera is one of the most unique ever introduced in the market. After a long-standing research, Lee discovered that the optimal position for the camera was the forehead. Having consulted teachers of photography, Lee discovered that holding the camera to the forehead ensures that the camera can be held still thus becoming almost like a third eye. Given that the visually impaired individuals have an acute ability to estimate distances due to their sharp sense of hearing enabled Lee to choose the forehead as the best spot to place the Touch Sight camera.

The Touch Sight camera is designed as to supply a means of shooting the mental photograph that the visually impaired imagine of their surroundings using senses other than sight. By placing the camera on the forehead, the visually impaired individual successfully targets the photographic subject. Instead of an LDC screen, the camera displays a lightweight, bendable Braille-like display sheet on the back, which instantly shows a three-dimensional image by trimming the surface. For three seconds the camera records sound after pressing the shutter button. In that way, the user may use the sound as a reference to locate and manage the shots after the picture is taken and then review and manage the photos by navigating through libraries of saved pictures. In addition, the Braille-like display sheet allows the user to trade pictures with other Touch Sight users.

At first, an invention like a camera for the blind people seems like an odd few things to put together. However, after discovering the enormous potential of the Touch Sight camera one cannot but be amazed by what this little concept idea can really do. Apart from its technical features, the Touch Sight camera is a ground breaking gadget as it brings to visually impaired individuals previously inaccessible gears and hobbies. Putting together Lee’s brilliant idea, the Touch Sight camera reaches new territory targeting the blind people as the primary market and offering a way to capture memories of a moment. Isn’t that precious enough?