ORLANDO, Fla. – Tiffani Gay is only 16 years old, but she is one to watch.
She invented a headset for people with visual impairments and just returned from a trip to Africa, where her groundbreaking design won gold in a competition that involved a thousand students from forty different countries.
The high school sophomore at Orlando Science Middle/High School says her invention combines two technologies used in everyday life and could help over 2.2 billion people worldwide with visual impairments.
“This idea stemmed from an experience with a family friend who had a visual impairment,” Gay said.
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From there, she came up with a design and developed a series of prototypes. Similar to safety technology used in cars, Gay’s electronic visor is lined with LiDAR that can detect when objects are close or far away from the user.
“Those sensors are replicating human vision,” she said.
The device then uses haptic feedback - like the tactile vibrations on your smartphone - around the brim of the headset.
“So if someone is getting close to an obstacle, it will start to vibrate in that region of their head,” Gay said.
After winning several competitions including the State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida and the Taiwan International Science Fair, she has now claimed first place at the International Festival of Engineering Science and Technology, also known as I-Fest, in Tunisia.
She recently talked about her invention on Florida’s Fourth Estate with Matt Austin and Ginger Gadsden.
You can watch the full episode here or anytime on News 6+.
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