REY

Personal wearable companion designed to offset existing barriers for users with visual impairments.

Role
Student, master thesis
Focus
co-creation, interaction & product (hardware) design
Time
2017 (6 months)

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Challenge
Persons with visual impairments are faced with various physical and psychological challenges. The research exposed opportunities in speech interaction and image recognition technology - and defined the guardrails of making these technologies accessible.
Outcome
REY is a personal wearable companion that uses artificial intelligence to adjust to the user’s needs. For persons with visual impairments, the tactile navigation, description and localisation of objects through 3D sound facilitates a more independent life. While the hands-free use of smartphone-based applications on the go, makes a connected live easier for everybody.

Interviews, emphatic modeling techniques, a fair visit and an online survey helped to familiarize with the user group of people with visual impairments. The found insights were basis for an ideation workshop that brought up various ideas. I discussed the most promising ones in a focus group session with people representing the target group in order to filter out the concept idea and main requirements.


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The thee main innovations for people with visual impairments: tactile turn by turn navigation, localizing objects by sound proximity and localizing objects by 3D sound are visualized above. Prototyping and testing these new ways of interaction helped to refine and optimize them. Feedback from the people representing the target group and their insights in everyday life use, served as valuable input for the final functions and design.

tactile turn by turn navigation

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localizing objects by 3D sound

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localizing objects by sound proximity

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Process & final user evaluation

In the last focus group sessions, I could show the final models to potential users, which was a great experience. Together we discussed a lot of diverse personal use cases, that highlighted the individuality of REY and its potential to turn user pains into actual gains.


„The problems, that people with visual impairments face are various and difer strongly depending on their eye condition, personal attitude and life situation. "REY" is a wearable speech assistant that supports users in various tasks and can therefore solve problems very individually. We are confident, that "REY" is a honorable winner for the James Dyson Awards 2018 and wish Clara Fessler a lot of sucess for her project."

Eberhard Schrempf - managing director Creative Industries Styria (translated from German)