Researchers Developed Smart Tape Measure for Vision Impaired

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Novel measuring tape Macaron is developed by students from the Queensland University of Technology to overcome challenges faced by visually impaired individuals

The novel device smart tape measure is inspired by one of the team members who is suffering from vision impairment having difficulties renovating his house. To overcome the problem, the team develop device to measure things. The device is a sleek, small, and circular tape measure that pairs with a companion mobile app over Bluetooth. The Macaron’s soft and durable thread can be unraveled just like a regular measuring tape, with a spring-loaded tip on the body pressing it against a flat surface as it is pulled out. Another spring-loaded hook enables it to clip onto edges, while a small digital display presents the distance it is covering in real time.

The device shares measure values via audio instantaneously, which are saved to the connected phone by pressing a button. The haptic feedback alerts user that it data is recorded. Furthermore, app allows user to preset objects and distances to be measured, which can be programmed via voice commands. “People with little to no vision need to rely heavily on specialized measuring devices, but we hope that the Macaron will become the common and everyday household product that leads to a new way of measuring, recording and thinking,” said Jake Dean from the Macaron team.

The Macaron team competed with 25 teams to claim the Australian James Dyson Award and earned US$ 2,570. It will now compete for the International James Dyson Award, along with the other Australian teams to share the podium. The first of those is the team behind an alpine survival tool called H2 Snow that converts snow into drinking water, while the other clever creation is the Indra Mosquita Zapper, an insect-zapping machine made from recycled materials. The international winner of the James Dyson Award stands to win US$ 38,500 and will be announced on November 15, 2018.

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