Guide for the Blind – An Idea on How You Can Help the Visually Impaired Uncover Secrets in the Natural World
Overview & Introduction
Welcome to the second post of the Idea Series! The goal of these posts is to discuss business ideas that solve real world problems, underpinned by readily available data. Or, make life a bit more enjoyable/fun/exciting and so forth! The first idea was about increasing the joy in receiving gifts. Today’s idea is more about giving back and increasing the joy in other’s lives. It’s about creating a service to assist people that are visually impaired or blind.
In today’s world, technology is a real enabler. Playing a central role in the lives of the 285 million visually impaired or blind people in the world. There are many ways in which Tech is used to help blind people. These range from assisting in the identification of items, to helping individuals find places. Some apps help count money with others forming a platform to learn. There is also an app that connects blind and visually impaired with sighted helpers from around the world via live video connection, enabling a wide range of assistance.
Yet, there is no known app or service that connects blind users to sighted users in the form of a buddy.
“What a blind person needs is not a teacher, but another self” – Helen Keller
Currently there is no platform or medium to easily connect willing guides with those who lack clear sight. Preventing the formation of buddy relationships within a local community.
People are unable to call upon willing individuals that wish to help those less fortunate. If I was to walk to the local shop I would have no hesitation in guiding a visually impaired individual. Or, if I was to take a stroll in the surrounding woods, a terrain that is arguably more difficult to navigate without sight, then how am I to currently volunteer my services as a guide?
You could argue that a simple GPS application could provide a similar service through audio or haptic feedback. However, you are then lacking the company of another human and the live commentary/discussion a person could provide.
As you will notice from the video, I realised this problem whilst walking through the New Zealand wilderness. A path which a blind person would struggle to navigate by themselves. Yes, whilst they may not be able to fully appreciate the views, there is no doubt they would be able to enjoy the walk. The noise from the surrounding forest and warmth of the sun during the cool morning air – bliss.
The market for such apps is fairly big. The more popular apps like Be My Eyes have a community of over 600k sighted and blind users. The Be My Eyes app has between 10000-50000 downloads on Google Play Store. Another app called Braille Tutor also has between 10000-50000 downloads on Google Play Store.
A platform connecting blind users with willing buddies. These sighted users can lay down the routes which they are willing to travel, or plan to travel soon. The blind user can then accompany the sighted user, or a sighted used could volunteer to assist with the planned journey of visually impaired/blind user.
The app will utilise GPS to ensure users are not lead away from a pre-determined route (shareable with loved ones). Fail-safes embedded in the app will notify a blind user if they are being lead off-course.
Unlike other platforms, buddies won’t provide remote help. Instead they will be present in person.
- Never been done before
- The Technology required already exists
- Requires a database of volunteers or buddies in every location
- Verification of Buddies required
- Requires a verifying authority
- A new way to contribute and volunteer
- No similar tech-enabled service available
- Possible tie-ups with Non-Profits and Govt. Associations for the Blind
- Integrity of the volunteer
- Safety of Blind folks signing up for buddies
- Workability of the app by blind users
Today’s idea is about creating an impact on the lives of the Blind and Visually impaired. It will also create opportunities for sighted people to volunteer in a very flexible manner. I would love to hear your thoughts on the idea. Would it be something you would like to pursue?
How would you improve the idea? Or, are you still not sold on the concept? Are you there already, and want some further content?
Either way, below is the option to invest in further market analysis. Like the post you have just read, the purchase will allow you to pose a question/problem, with background as to what actionable insight you are currently in search of. You will then receive direct correspondence from myself, where we will discuss your topic. As you would expect, the research will be created bespoke for your request, all for only £100! (please allow for a 5 to 10 day turnaround)
The amount of time and thought that has been placed into forming this process, and the thousands of hours personally invested into studying these topics and working with clients, will mean you’re getting great value!