Publicado por: Ricardo Shimosakai | 21/11/2014

3D Printer Recreates ‘Touchable Memories,’ Helps Blind People See And Feel Their Past Again


A 3D printing company shows how technology can be used to enhance the lives of blind people — in new, creative ways.A 3D printing company shows how technology can be used to enhance the lives of blind people — in new, creative ways.

3D printers have now become a common technological advancement that has assisted people medically on many levels — from 3D-printing organs to creating prosthetics and medical implants. Now, a company called Pirate3D has developed a 3D printer that can be used to assist people with eyesight problems.

Known as the Buccaneer, or the “World’s Friendliest 3D Printer,” the printer is being advertised as able to assist people who are visually impaired due to blindness or other disorders, like glaucoma. 3D printing is nothing new, but Buccaneer’s project and video “Touchable Memories” shows how technology can be used in creative ways to enhance the lives of those with blindness.

While blind people can see memories in their minds, it’s not quite the same as being able to look at a photograph to reminisce. “Memories for me as a blind person are almost like dreams,” one woman in the video says. “It’s like a gust of wind. It’s there and it’s gone, but you can have it forever.”

So how could we go about recreating memories for blind people? By taking old photographs — scenes from people’s childhoods — and designing them to be printed 3-dimensionally. In the video, you can see how the blind or visually impaired individuals are able to hold their memories in the palm of their hands, stroke every detail, and visualize the scene and memory in their mind’s eye. “Touchable Memories is a social experiment where we give technology an innovative application, testing it in an unexplored field and achieving incredible results, making people aware of the endless possibilities of using technology to make our lives better,” the Touchable Memories website states. “Because wonderful things can be achieved when technology is for all of us.”

For those cynics out there who see this as a clever advertising campaign, you’re probably right. But at the same time, you can derive some beauty and meaning from it, too. The end of the video concludes with a meaningful quote: “Technology is just a tool. People give it purpose.”

Fonte: Medical Daily


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