As a social entrepreneur, I have always believed in the power of technology to break barriers and create new opportunities. One area that has particularly fascinated me is the potential of spatial computing systems to enhance accessibility for the blind and visually impaired (BVI). Spatial computing systems are a fusion of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) technologies that enable the seamless integration of digital information and virtual objects into the physical world, creating immersive and interactive experiences. In this blog, I want to share my personal journey of learning about its capabilities and shed light on how developers can leverage spatial computing systems to empower individuals like myself. Together, we can open doors to a more inclusive and diverse entrepreneurial landscape.
Navigating with Confidence
Spatial computing systems have revolutionized the way I navigate and interact with the world around me, through the use of haptic feedback and audio cues. These systems provide real-time information about my surroundings, giving me the confidence to explore new environments independently. That is truly all I want back from my former sighted life, my complete hands-free autonomy. I love my husband and would hold his hand forever but I know many others and I would appreciate having a choice rather than a forced necessity. Think about maneuvering an airport, crowded restaurant, or restroom at an arena. As a developer, you can contribute by creating immersive applications that offer precise navigation instructions, helping blind individuals like me confidently move through unfamiliar spaces.
Education is the foundation of growth and empowerment. Spatial computing systems have the potential to transform the way blind and visually impaired individuals access knowledge. As a student, I’ve realized that inclusive educational experiences are crucial for success. By leveraging 3D modeling, interactive simulations, and tactile feedback, developers can create accessible learning tools that cater to diverse learning styles. Block Coding is one of the few learning tools that are currently out on the market that includes these alternative methods. Recently, I signed up for a UX design course but was unable to complete it once I got to the low Fidelity prototyping segment. I automatically thought of SCS as a way for BVI learners to participate. What if we could draw accurately & precisely with our eyes closed?
Building Inclusive Social Platforms
Entrepreneurship thrives on collaboration and networking. However, as a blind entrepreneur, I have faced challenges in engaging with others in social and professional settings. Imagine trying to network in an unfamiliar room with hundreds of professionals. Who or where do you engage first? How do you know to initiate a conversation without noticing body language queues? Spatial computing systems offer an exciting opportunity to bridge this gap. Developers can create virtual reality platforms that foster inclusive social interactions, enabling blind and visually impaired individuals to participate in virtual meetings, conferences, and networking events. By embracing this technology, we can level the playing field and promote diversity within the entrepreneurial ecosystem. I’m looking at you META, no pun intended.
Embracing Accessible Information
Accessing information is vital for any entrepreneur, regardless of visual abilities. Spatial computing systems can empower BVI’s by providing real-time access to information from physical objects, images, and text. How many times have you yelled out, “Hey! What’s this?” Or had to pull out an app. By utilizing computer vision and natural language processing, developers can create applications within wearable tech or virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa that conduct object identification, text recognition, and audio descriptions. This inclusive approach ensures that blind entrepreneurs have equal access to information, breaking down barriers to success.
All in all, as an entrepreneur, I have witnessed firsthand the transformative power of spatial computing systems in creating a more inclusive entrepreneurial landscape. By harnessing these technologies, developers can empower blind and visually impaired individuals to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams with confidence. Let’s collaborate to build immersive applications for navigation, inclusive education, social interactions, and information access. Together, we can break down barriers, create opportunities, and embrace a future where blind entrepreneurs thrive. Join me on this journey to cultivate inclusivity and diversity. Please share your thoughts & ideas on leveraging the power of spatial computing systems for persons with disabilities in the comments below.