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"As a messenger of peace I want to encourage countries throughout the world to find ways of subsidizing technology and ways of making the world more accessible to those with disabilities." – Stevie Wonder

Advances in technology and innovative product development have made Stevie Wonder’s message of accessible technology for the disabled - a reality. Selective material sourcing, user-centric design methods and innovative technology have all been combined to produce useful and empowering devices for the impaired.

A recent 2010 NFL Superbowl Volkswagen commercial highlighted the latest advances in technology for the visually impaired. In the ad featuring Stevie Wonder, a variety of people in different driving situations are playing “Punch Buggy”, where the first person to see a Volkswagen playfully slugs his or her friend. The twist comes when Stevie Wonder correctly identifies the color of a nearby Jetta and slugs a surprised Tracy Morgan. To find out how Stevie did it, watch here.

“Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn’t mean he lacks vision.”
– Stevie Wonder

Brytech’s Color Teller™ provided a substitute for Stevie Wonder’s vision in the commercial allowing him to accurately determine the color of the car through the push of a button. The “Color Teller” device announces colors, shades and whether a light is on or off to the user. Design 1st was the physical product design and development team behind the product, working closely with the electronics and business team at Brytech.

Color Teller ThumbWorking with the blind requires designing with your eyes closed. The Design 1st team had to think blind to come up with the shape of the object that deals with getting it out of a pocket or purse, tethering the product for security, comfort in the hands and simplicity of use. Simple can be the best thing ever for those with vision disabilities – a must have. To come up with the right shape a dozen shapes from wallet rectangles to long tubes were created and reviewed with a group of blind volunteers. From this feedback the final shape was determined and the complex color measuring window was developed with keys, speaker and accessible battery door that could be used without sight. The Color Teller features a single button operation that never needs to be switched off, multiple language selections, different volume levels and a talking battery monitor. Buy one at www.brytech.com

We’re proud that our partnership with Brytech brought an innovative and highly useful product to market. A product that is being recognized for its vision.

 
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Kevin Bailey
President, P. Eng
Design 1st
613 235.1004 x225
613 851.4449 cell
314 Athlone Ave.
K1Z 5M4, Ottawa, ON
kjbailey@design1st.com
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