New Technique Helps the Blind “See” Fish


The Atlanata-based Center for the Visually Impaired has struck upon a way for the blind to “see” fish: an audio aquarium.

Using similar technology to that found in Audiosurf (where music is translated into visuals), a camera watches the movement of the fish, whilst recognition software matches the shape, color and speed to instruments, pitch and tempo. The net result is an audio representation of the movements of the fish.

In synesthesia, the patient is able to perceive one sensory input, such as letters, with another sensory input, such as colors, sounds, or smells. From this idea, scientists worked backwards to remove one of the original senses, but keep the supporting sense.

The software itself can be applied to many situations, but this is one of the first times that an application has been with fun, rather than necessity, in mind.

The team is looking to install the software in as many aquariums and zoos as they can, but it’s not limited to simply fish; anything that features lots of movement can be converted, from a football game to an ant farm.

Perhaps sometime soon, the guy clocking up all the headshots might be doing so to the sounds rather than the movement.

Source: USA Today

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