Innovation That Matters

3D camera

New camera allows the blind to see photos

Work & Lifestyle

A new camera produces 3D photos that use a touch screen to allow everyone affected by sight loss to ‘see’ pictures through feel

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At Springwise, we have featured a number of innovations aimed at helping those with disabilities. These include glasses that help the hearing impaired ‘see’ sound and a vibrating cap that tells blind swimmers when to turn. Now, a camera inspired by pin toys could enable the blind to feel photos. The 2C3D camera is the brainchild of Israeli designer Oren Geva, a recent graduate of the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Ramat Gan, Israel.

The camera uses 3D pixels on a screen attached to the camera to create 3D photos and videos. The pixels shift to create a physical ‘image’ of the photo on the screen surface. The user can then touch the screen to feel what the camera is seeing in real time. If users like what they feel, they can click and save the photo. Saved photos can also then be pulled up on the screen to be felt again at any time.

Prior to the 2C3D, Geva designed projects that aim to find new ways of approaching everyday aesthetics. For example, stackable bowls and cutlery designed to allow dishes to be piled up, with the leftovers and silverware inside them, for easier clearing of dishes. She also designed a children’s hair clip that easily holds a fresh flower. Geva found the design of the 3D camera challenging practically. She wanted the design to be intuitive, and to combine recognisable camera design with innovative elements.

Previous cameras designed for the blind have included the Touch Sight camera, in which the photographer holds the camera up to his or her forehead, and a Braille-like screen on the back makes a raised image of whatever the lens sees. Geva’s 2C3D camera offers a simpler approach that may be more versatile. The prototype camera has recently won the 2018 Asia Design Prize. What other innovations might help the blind to use technology?




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