Engineers at the University of Queensland have designed a soccer ball for those with vision impairment. The Intertactive-Ball (I-Ball) contains motion sensors, high efficiency speakers and a small controller that can be programmed to suit the player. The device varies the sound based on motion and the environment, with the tone speeding or slowing depending on its movement.
The ball is said to be more advanced than existing electronic soccer balls that have been designed for the blind or low vision community. According to engineer, Dr Surya Singh, some electronic balls make a buzzing noise similar to an alarm. “The I-Ball can make a variety of sounds and play anything from Shake it Off to Rachmaninoff,” he said.
The I-Ball which was developed in consultation with Vision Australia, has scored well in trial games with positive feedback from players.
Vision Australia physiotherapist Louise Arvier said it was an exciting technology. “It shows great potential in aiding people to participate on the field and court and to join in a wider range of sports.”
For more information visit: http://robotics.itee.uq.edu.au/~iball/