BRINGING THE WORLD INTO FOCUS
Technology is improving the way Visually Impaired people can interact with the world. Advances in tablets and phones offer the possibility of seeing life details not easily seen before. High-resolution cameras capture moments and digital zoom features provide crisp enlargement for low vision viewing. Technology is improving how Visually Impaired people can access information in a world designed for sight. To benefit from this technology, a tablet or phone must be positioned very close to a Visually Impaired person’s face in order to see the display. Unfortunately, today there aren’t cost-accessible stands that do this. For many Visually Impaired people, interacting with a tablet is uncomfortable, leads to ergonomic injuries, and isn’t nearly as beneficial as the technology could be.
This challenge was observed by a very insightful teacher for the blind and visually impaired named Allie Futty. Allie works for The Vermont Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired (VABVI), which supports visually impaired Vermonters of all ages across the state. In and out of the classroom, Allie has experienced the rapid integration of digital technology, and continuously encounters the challenge of proper ergonomic positioning of devices. The commercially available solutions were either very costly or didn’t solve the problem.
The journey began by observing people with a Visual Impairment use various tablets and phones for daily tasks. The struggle became obvious as users uncomfortably hunched to the device or held it up to their face for a prolonged period of time. While the technology provided the desired visual enhancement, the experience was poor, and many of the device’s beneficial aspects were limited.
Stands were then created with Visually Impaired users in mind. Prototypes were provided to testers and feedback was collected through many design iterations. We were delighted that feedback hit the mark for comfortable positioning, improved productivity, portability, and ease of use.
OUR DISCOVERY - HELPFUL FOR EVERYONE
While testing the LV Tablet Stand with visually impaired folks, we found that their family and friends would often borrow the stand. The height range, light weight, and high adjustability created a great tablet and phone user experience for them as well. As we began hearing “Where can I buy one?”, it was time to make them available to everyone.
Blue Vista Creations is a small design company in South Burlington, Vermont that strives to bring products to the world which improve quality of life through comfort and fun. Responsible manufacturing is important to us which is why our products are made and assembled locally from recyclable materials.