People Are Awesome: 11th-Graders Invent a Way for Blind People to Locate the Food on Their Plate


A small group of high school juniors are the first people to tackle a serious but overlooked difficulty that blind and visually impaired people face every day: locating food on their plate.
The students are part of the Mouse program, a nonprofit that empowers underserved youth via creative technology. They found, after talking with visually impaired people, that the simple task of eating a meal can be embarrassing and frustrating, and set out to do something to fix that.
The students worked with the design and innovation consulting firm IDEO to create a working prototype of their invention, called the Dining Band.
The Dining Band is a wrist band with a location and temperature sensor that vibrates when the person's hand hovers over the food on the plate.
The students demoed their product at the monthly NY Tech Meetup in New York City yesterday, alongside a dozen other startups and tech innovations.
They pointed out that it's still an early stage prototype, so looks a bit bulky, but eventually will be designed to look like a watch so it doesn't stand out on the wearer's arm.