Technology has been blossoming to help blind people. Although some projects were more charitable at the beginning, today real progress have been made and installed themselves in our day-to-day, to a point where those that see also benefit from this new technology as well. Sight tech is everywhere, and we’ll help you understand some of it.
Common Technologies that started as Sight Tech
There are many things we take for granted; sight is not one of them. We all understand the importance of being able to see. To look into the eyes of the people we love and recognize their essence is part of what makes our life better. It also enables us to discover all the beauty that surrounds us. Of course, it is an indispensable tool for everything we do as well, from the moment we wake-up in the morning, till we close our eyes to sleep at night. But if you are blind, you still have to walk the same paths others do, and your activities request that you “see” in one way or another.
You may not know this, but the 12-inch record, computer keyboard, and text recognition software are all technologies that were thought of first, to help blind people. In truth, the most important developments in sight tech have become so important that they are incorporated in our daily lives, even for those of us who are not blind. Most technological products today include sight techs, just so they can remain competitive with others. Personal assistants like Siri, activated by voice, were first created for blind people. Today, a lot of tech can be voice activated. That is a good example of the advance of sight tech in our society.
Sight Tech Creates Value
The fact is, sight tech has become an additional value to products and services that were originally created especially for a small portion of the market. One of the best proofs is found in audio-books. Developed in 1934, the idea of books that were read, so that blind people could have access to them, was not popular. That is because it was costly and served a very small portion of “readers.” In 2020, one of the only sectors of publishing that is growing is audio-books.
The ROI (return on investment) can be quite unexpected. It is the case of e-commerce who had to code their website so that it would be accessible for a blind person screen reader. Although it is much more work, which means a higher cost, it enabled them to optimize their SEO, therefore providing them with more visibility. They now also reach about a billion non-standard device users. Not a bad investment in the end!