A visual impairment can have immense impact on the wellbeing of affected people. Depending on the degree of the impairment they often rely on the support of their close ones and have to live a very restricted lifestyle.
Worldwide there are around 285 million people living with some kind of visual impairment caused by a number of different diseases. The deprivation of vision often makes it hard for visually impaired people to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The accessibility to sport is beneficial to stay physically but also mentally fit. A recent survey showed that nearly 70 percent of visually impaired children in the US do not participate in physical education. Despite many existing aids for visually impaired people, this shows that there are no significant technical solutions yet that enable them to overcome the barriers to do physical
Nevertheless there is a growing market of assistive technologies for visually impaired people which is expected to double almost within the next six years. With huge technological developments that are strongly driven by the shift of the automotive industry to autonomous driving, many technologies like depth imaging will get much more affordable. This in combination with the implementation of artificial intelligence and faster networks will make it feasible to develop assistive technologies for visually impaired people that empowers them to move independently.
The aim of this master thesis in Advanced Product Design was to design a wearable solution that involves assistive technology and enables visually impaired people to do sports independently and thereby get easier access to physical activities and improve the wellbeing.