Touchable Memories allows visually impaired to “see”

Birthdays.  Holidays.  Graduations.  Weddings.  Our lives consist of a series of memories, several that we wish to cherish and remember forever.  As we grow older, we may forget these wonderful moments, which is why we often capture them in photographs.  But how could individuals with visual impairments experience the pleasure of “viewing” a precious memory?  Touchable Memories is a project dedicated to helping blind individuals revisit their precious photographed moments by 3-D printing them.

The world of technology is always advancing, and 3-D printing is a major breakthrough as it helps technology adapt more to its users.  Pirate3D, the Singapore-based company behind the project, is allowing individuals without sight to “see” special moments for the very first time by transforming photos into detailed sculptures.   In the video for the Touchable Memories experiment, there are five sight-impaired individuals recalling memories.  One of these includes a woman, Daniela, describing memories as “almost like dreams, like a gust of wind–there and it’s gone.”

Many individuals who are blind depend on their sense of touch, so Touchable Memories takes this idea and transforms photos into detailed sculptures–almost like the Braille equivalent of a picture.

Technology is just a tool; people give it a purpose.