Breaking Boundaries for the Blind

As someone who’s had a string of eye problems since childhood, I feel incredibly lucky to have my sight and have truly come to appreciate designs that benefit the visually impaired. The G-Navi is an interactive guide dog system that aims to break boundaries & improve the independence & mobility of the sightless. G-Navi combines GPS navigation & a hands-free voice control system as well as vibrating-calibration technology to steer the guide dog to any waypoint the user selects. The pup’s harness even features a solar panel for constant charging. 

Designer: Shawn Youndong Kim

14 Comments

  • Johnny says:

    Another way to demean the blind — make them wear the collar instead of their seeing-eye dog.

  • Johnny says:

    Another way to demean the blind — make them wear the collar instead of their seeing-eye dog.

    • Jimmy C says:

      Have you missed the ENTIRE point of this design? This is supposed to HELP the blind! If you can't accept that, then make your own design.

  • Jamie says:

    I really wish that the articles post about products for the blind would be made more accessible to those who use screen readers to browse. Placing photos with the text on them makes it difficult to blind please to learn about such products without help. Maybe it will get better in the future.

  • Jimmy C says:

    This is single handedly the most detailed design I have ever seen! Keep up the good work! Hope it gets patented someday!

  • jane says:

    I think its a great idea, however the dog training techniques currently used by all guide dog schools would not be compatible with this system. Dogs are currently conditionned to resist pulling and pushing by the handler , and I feel concerned about a system that introduces pushing at the head, when current practise is voice control and body positionning. The dogs would need to be taught a new system from day one, or it causes stress and confusion- like speaking a different language!
    Bear in mind that horse rdining is made of of a number of things, leg, seat, etc, and the info that goes down the reins is very gentle and not used to steer the horse.

  • jane says:

    I think its a great idea, however the dog training techniques currently used by all guide dog schools would not be compatible with this system. Dogs are currently conditionned to resist pulling and pushing by the handler , and I feel concerned about a system that introduces pushing at the head, when current practise is voice control and body positionning. The dogs would need to be taught a new system from day one, or it causes stress and confusion- like speaking a different language!
    Bear in mind that horse rdining is made of of a number of things, leg, seat, etc, and the info that goes down the reins is very gentle and not used to steer the horse.

  • Wee says:

    is there anyone who has beaten you in the head with something hard and cheap as a child.

  • Wee says:

    ??? is there anyone who has beaten you in the head with something hard and cheap as a child. !!!

  • Moodalood says:

    As a person who is legally-blind, uses a guide dog, and is a designer, there are some good points to this product but many more that are not good. As “Jane” states, current schools would have to change their training methods in order to use this harness. What I find to be good about the design is the possibility of GPS in the harness. What is not so good are the following: buttons on the handle, the “jacket” would not only have to be waterproof (as we do not only use our dogs when it is sunny outside) but also very lightweight. This would also pose a problem for the dogs as they already have a coat they cannot take off and additional weight as well as covering could cause overheating of the animal. Bio-plastics although quite good for the environment would degrade over time. My harness has now been in use for 5 years straight (that is 365/24/7)!. The problem with the neck piece is not merely that it is “demeaning” as stated by Johnny, but may cause a problem if one were require a coat or scarf to go outside. When people design things like this, what is needed is for the designer to put themselves in the shoes of the person for whom they are designing as well as observation of the user.

  • Shannon says:

    A guide dog handler tells their dog where to go. Directionals like left, right, forward, stop, etc are used to steer the dog. The blind handler is the one that knows where they’re going and how to get there – the handler is the one that could benefit from GPS, so the GPS should tell the handler where to go. This design makes no sense at all, and is based on incorrect ideas of what a guide dog does. Just like guide dogs don’t know when the light is red or green (the handler listens to traffic and tells the dog when to go), the dog doesn’t need a vibrating harness to tell it where to go.

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