Monday, October 1, 2012

Daniel Kish and Echolocation

There is an amazing young man who has been blind since the age of 13 months who navigates using ECHOLOCATION, the same thing that bats use to "see". Daniel Kish lost his eyes to a type of eye cancer called Retinoblastoma and has been blind for essentially his entire life, and yet he can get around in the world as if he had both of his eyes!

Echolocation is the phenomenon by which the world can be mapped by the echoes of transmitted sound. Daniel creates echoes by clicking his tongue. He then analyzes the echo that returns to his ears. It turns out that human hearing is almost 10 times as sensitive as sight and can provide a very rich "view" of our surroundings.  Daniel calls his version of echolocation "FlashSonar".

Kish and a handfull of co-workers run a non-profit organization called "World Access for the Blind" which promotes and teaches echolocation as a means to make blind individuals more independent in everyday living. You can visit their website HERE.

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