[bct] Re: more on hybrid cars

  • From: "Neal Ewers" <neal.ewers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 9 May 2006 09:37:01 -0500

Rick, you are right about the canes.  If this is something organizations
for the blind do, it would cost us a lot.  But I wouldn't be so sure
about what the auto manufacturers would pay for.  The mistake we
sometimes make is to only think about people who are blind.  One thing I
learned at Trace is that you need to make a case for something being
universally needed.  Perhaps it is not needed by every person on the
planet, but what about older people who have some sight loss?  As soon
as a little old Grand Mother of an auto executive is almost clobbered by
one of these silent phantoms, I bet you will see some action.  There are
a lot more people with  age related vision problems than the small
percent of those who are totally blind.  This is a problem for more
people than I think we realize, and the more people for whom it is a
problem, the more likely we are to find a solution.  What we don't need
is some backward thinking blind person inventing a device that will cost
a thousand dollars.  Now, auto companies no longer have to worry about
people who are blind.  They will just buy that expensive device and they
will be safe.  And the company who makes the device will be very rich
and we will be the poorer.


-----Original Message-----
From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Rick Harmon
Sent: Tuesday, May 09, 2006 9:27 AM
To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bct] Re: more on hybrid cars

Hi Neal,

Who will pay for all this technical stuff. receivers in canes?  That
most likely cost the user hundreds of dollars wouldn't it?  I know we
blind and should have certain guarantied rights but I doubt we are going
be able to force the automobile industry into putting millions of
beepers or 
transmitters on their cars for the limited number of blind users that it

will impact.

Do we really have that right?  I know I would like to see any help we
get but I am just not sure that we can expect anything like this to



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- Helen Keller, 1925

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Neal Ewers" <neal.ewers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, May 09, 2006 10:19 AM
Subject: [bct] Re: more on hybrid cars

Dan, you're right.  a Geiger counter orgy.  OK, get out your microphones
folks, or Dan will record this first with his very expensive microphone.

The sound of one or two cars would be easily enough dealt with in this
way, but I think Dan is right.  At some point, if the beeps all sound
alike, we are in trouble.  And, even if each manufacturer had different
beeping sounds, that would still not be enough.

This is where the person with a dog may be better off than the cane

Ok, thinking off the top of my head as I write, what about having a
sensor in one's cane that would give either sounds or directional
vibrations based on where the cars with these transmitters are.  Yes, if
there is more than one car, it would be difficult, but if the
transmitters only notified you of cars at a particular distance from
you, you would only have to worry about the ones your cane was picking
up at the moment.  Not fool proof, by any means, and I wouldn't want to
be in the middle of the street when the battery in my cane decided to


-----Original Message-----
From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of The Scarlet
Sent: Tuesday, May 09, 2006 9:09 AM
To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bct] Re: more on hybrid cars

I think it could work too, Neal, but there are technical considerations
to overcome.  If, for example, there were four cars, three from your
right and one from your left, the amount of beeps could become so
tangled that you

would not be sure what was happening, just that there were cars.  We can

discriminate by ear when we hear car sounds, but if the beeps all
sounded the same, it would sound like a geiger counter orgy.

The cheapest solution is for the cars to make sound, but that probably
will not fly with the manufacturers nor the customers.  Not that I
really care about whether they like it or not, but such concerns will
drive the issue and marketplace.


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