At a school for the blind in Japan, the Internet is no longer just a visual tool. Yahoo Japan has made it possible for children who are blind to search the web.
In collaboration with Japanese creative agency Hakuhodo Kettle, Yahoo developed a machine called Hands On Search that is part 3D printer, part computer — and will build just about anything at your request.
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For example, children at the Special Needs Education School for the Visually Impaired can walk up to Hands On Search and say “giraffe” or “Tokyo Skytree Building.” Then, the machine searches Yahoo for an image and prints a miniaturized version of the object. The machine will make an online request for more information if an image cannot be found, according to Yahoo Japan’s website.
Yahoo Japan says it has no plans to commercialize the device, which it has loaned to the school for free through mid-October.
“After that, we are planning to donate the machine to some organization that will utilize it, like the School for the Visually Impaired,” Kazuaki Hashida, the creative director at Hakuhodo Kettle, told Mashable. “We are considering which organization is the best. We will decide it by the end of October.”
What kind of impact do you think Hands On Search could have if it’s expanded? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Image: Flickr, kakissel