Yesterday I visited Cam Site, a local charity for the blind and sight impaired.
My mission was to find out more about assistive technologies of all kinds.
Cam Sight were brilliantly helpful (thanks so much!) and I learned far, far more than I could possibly explain in a single post.
So for now I’ll just describe what struck me most.
If you are blind or don’t have much sight, how do you cope in the kitchen? Imagine you want to bake a cake. Or more simply, make a cup of tea.
Well, a big help is to have a kitchen that talks! Here are some of the ingenious the devices I met at Cam Sight. I found them all enormously impressive.
The speaking measurement jug.
The speaking microwave. This sounds a little like a lift sometime; for example it said
The liquid level sensor. If you are making a cup of tea how will you know we have poured the right amount of hot water in?
The liquid level sensor clips onto the side of your mug and the sensor is on the inside. So as you fill it with (hot) liquid, when the right level is reached the sensor device beeps.
But I found the talking scales the most charming. When activated it says “Scale is ready”. Obviously when you put something on it, it speaks the weight. You have a choice of units.
And when you don’t put anything on it for about 30 seconds, it politely says “Goodbye!”
I hope it doesn’t seem too fanciful to say that these devices almost seem to have personalities of their own. That’s why I called this piece The Talking Kitchen.