Oscar Widegren, from Stockholm, who has been blind since he was 5, is an athlete. For him, and other blind runners, running is not really possible without another person running next to them who act as a guide. Recently, Oscar was the subject of a project called “The Impossible Run” which aims to defy the fact that blind runners cannot run without a guide.
The Impossible Run is a project created by a Swedish company Lexter, and the aim of the project is to guide blind runners using sound. The company uses a technology called hyper directional sound technology, and created state of the art speakers that emits sound in extremely narrow beams. This sound is emitted in sharp lines and is audible to only those it is pointed at, and guides them from their start to finish by creating a sound tunnel.
Picture this: Oscar Widegren is at the starting point, and he is about to race. On the other end, where he is supposed to finish are a set of two speakers. One speaker, to Oscar’s right, produces the “bip” sound. The other, to his left, produces the “boop” sound. The sounds travel in a straight line, and form a sort of sound wall, all the way to Oscar’s starting point, and they alternate. So, what Oscar hears is “bip, boop, bip, boop”, and he knows which sound is on which side. As he starts running through this virtual “sound tunnel”, the alternating sounds guide him, to the finish line, where a third speaker is set with a different sound, telling him to slow down and stop.
Why is this technology necessary? Because as it is, blind runners have to put a lot of effort into the sport, and depend on others to succeed. In Oscar and other runners’ case, if the guide falls sick, for example, they simply cannot go out running. This technology can provide them the independence they need to practice and participate in the sport without relying on others.
Oscar ran in front of an audience on March 17, proving that this technology works. Now, this technology is being made available to other athletes so they could participate in various upcoming events.
Watch the video below to find out more about hyper directional sound technology, and Oscar’s participation in The Impossible Run.
Source: The Next Web
Website: The Impossible Run