A group of 11th Grade students presented their DiningBand at the April 2013 NY Tech Meetup — a unique innovation that will assist the blind or visually impaired in one of the most mundane parts of daily life: the simple act of eating. The students are part of the MOUSE program (www.mouse.org) that “empowers underserved youth to learn, lead and create with technology, preparing them with skills essential for their academic and career success.”
The MOUSE Squad program trains students to become digital media and technology experts in their schools, improving the use of technology to enhance learning, while also building confidence and developing skills for 21st century innovation. MOUSE connects students around shared interests as a national network of youth technology leaders.
The DiningBand is a wristband with integrated location and temperature sensors that vibrates as the fork passes over food on a plate. Born from the students’ interviews with volunteers from an organization providing services for the blind and a problem that needed a solution, the DiningBand addresses an problem that has never been solved before.
The students appeared at NY Tech Meetup with a working DiningBand prototype and a straight-forward presentation that was both humble and humorous. The demo unit, while rough, showed the intent of the device to be disguised as a wristwatch, providing all the benefits they desired while not drawing attention to the user.
The potential improvement in the quality of life for individuals with visual impairment that stems from the DiningBand is obvious and substantial, providing self-sufficiency and reducing frustration or feelings of embarrassment.
The presentation of the Dining Band is shown in the video stream of the NY Tech Meetup — Direct Link