Internet for the blind, only in Japan.

internet for the blind

How often are you browsing the web? Be it at work, home, or even at school we are constantly on the net researching, looking up phrases, just generally consuming information. The Internet has become our first point of access for information for many years now and i’m sure will stay the primary source for years to come.

What if you are visually impaired? Not having the ability to consume all those massive amounts of information, or being able to see the Youtube videos, Facebook pictures can put you at a rather large disadvantage.

Well, thanks to Yahoo they now aim to change this. They are looking to introduct internet for the blind or as they call it “Hands on Search”.

Introducing the “Hands on Search” by Yahoo.


Internet for the blind

In early September 2013 Yahoo unveiled its new Hands on Search technology which will give visually impaired children the opportunity to search the web for objects, say for example a BMW or giraffe, and will then print out a 3D palm-sized replica of the object for the child to hold and touch.

This brilliant piece of machinery has been made to resemble a white cloud, but all it simply is, is a computer hooked up to the internet that has been attached to a 3D printer.

How Does It Work?


Internet for the blind

Quite simply, the entire process is voice automated. A child will press a button on the cloud shaped machine, and say whatever they want from a Dragon to a Fighter Jet, and in less than 5 minutes the 3D printer will produce a tiny replica of whatever image it was able to get off of the web. The objects are made by the layering of thin sheets of resin over and over until the 3D model is complete.

Where is it now?


Yahoo gave the Hands on Search to the Special Needs Education School for the Visually Impaired, which is part of the University of Tsukuba in Japan for the month of October and the initial response was absolutely heart warming. Yahoo has stated that this device will not be made for commercial use, but rather to be donated to a cause that can use it to help better the lives of visually impaired children.

For more information on this great new technology for the visually impaired visit their website, or watch the video presentation found here.

Snowball – Connecting Everything.