Ray Devices: Independence for Blind and Visually Impaired People
» 285 million people worldwide are visually impaired: 39 million are blind and 246 million have low vision.
» About 90 percent of the world’s visually impaired people live in developing countries.
» About 65 percent of visually impaired people are 50 and older; an estimated 19 million children worldwide are visually impaired.
» Today, blind and visually impaired people use a simple mobile phone for daily telephone communications. They also use an array of specialty devices, such as audio book-readers, color readers, navigation tools, raised Braille labels, special bar-code scanners, and large-buttoned Braille-raised MP3 players. Each device has a unique UI, and the lack of integration makes them difficult to use. Collectively, these devices are prohibitively expensive.
» Audio-books, magazines, and periodicals are an important form of entertainment for blind and visually impaired people. However, no timely, secure, affordable system exists today to provide these materials.