A tape measure for the visually impaired
Architecture & Design
A new tape measure connects to an app to allow an audio read-out of the measurements.
Spotted: How do you measure something when you cannot see the marks on a tape measure? This was the question faced by the developers of the Macaron. In response, they developed a measuring device that can be paired with a mobile app to provide audio measurements. The device was developed by a team from Queensland University, inspired by one of their members, who is visually impaired. The team has now formed a startup called Oseyeris, who are developing products for the visually impaired.
The Macaron is a measuring tape with a digital readout, which can be paired with a mobile app via Bluetooth. The device uses a soft and durable tape, with a spring-loaded hook. After users take a measurement using the Macaron, it is sent to the app, which can then tell them the precise distance. The tape uses a flip-out magnetic tip to enable precise positioning by feel, and the tip pushes down to straighten the measuring tape automatically. The measurements can be saved to the app by pressing a button. A haptic feedback vibration lets users know when the measurements have been saved.
At Springwise, we have reviewed a number of smart innovations designed to help the visually-impaired. These have included a 3D-printed tactile map and a wearable that can identify text and people. However, the Macaron is designed to enhance interaction, user experience and accuracy. The company’s long-term goal is to use universal design to eliminate the need for specialised products. They are aiming to create products which can be used by anyone, disabled or not.
4th December 2018