Loss of sight or blindness is a curse that makes life bleak and immobile for the visually impaired. Adding spice and mobility to the visually challenged, Colombian designer Nelson Ayala Herrera has come up with a universal system that supports mobility to improve their lifestyle. SUAM is a technological system that enables the visually impaired to locate and navigate within various urban establishments (i.e. railway stations, airports, malls, etc.) in an autonomous and secure manner. The system converts incoming signals from infrared emitters into audible messages, which are sent directly to a portable device carried by the user. The message sent to the device reports the name, commercial nature of the business and direction of the selected object. The universal system providing 3 different surface textures with tactile shape recognition, which helps the visually impaired in operating it correctly and comfortably.
The mobile device operates when the user presses a central button scanning the surrounding area for the closest infrared emitter signal. Emitters may be located in facilities such as bathrooms, offices and retail stores. Once the signal is received by the device, the corresponding audible message is activated in order to communicate the details of the location to the user. The ergonomic curved design of the hand held device complements the anatomical nature of the hand, which results in maximum comfort. The textured surface provides tactile feedback and minimizes slippage in the hand. In short, SUAM achieves audio signaling serving as a user-friendly, unobtrusive guide for the blind or visually impaired.