Braille, a tactile writing system used by the blind and the visually impaired, has helped a lot of visually impaired people immensely in different fields of life. However, sometimes, even braille turns out to be limited. For instance, if a blind person want to order a new food item, just by the name, problems may arise. A new concept, based on smell, proposes a solution for such situations.
The solution has been proposed by the designers Liu Jie, Wen Ho and Liu Dongming. The idea is to empower the visually disabled persons to become independent of external help. For instance, although a waiter or some other accompanying person may read out the menu to a blind person, sometime it is not enough.
And to resolve this issue, Jie and his fellows have presented what is being called the ‘Odor Menu.’ Odor menu essentially makes use of braille but in a very unique and innovative way. It features an Electric Active Plastic (EAP) screen. This screen changes with different items in the menu and displays them through braille.
While that in itself can help a blind person a lot in knowing what the menu is, there is more to this concept. The gadget further releases the smell of a dish when it is being displayed on the braille, thus helping the blind person gauge more accurately what dishes are available on the menu. For instance, if the person is considering ordering fish, the Odor Menu will exude the smell of item.
It is still not clear, how would the team incorporate the smells of so many dishes into a tiny device. But if the solution makes it way to restaurants, it can be immensely helpful for the blind.
Source: Yanko Design