An interactive ball game for blind and visually impaired children


Teaching children how to accept and get along with their visual disability

The Sphera is an interactive ball for children with a visual disability, focusing on teaching these children how to accept and get along with their disability.
With the Sphera we hope to give children with a visual disability the opportunity to create more confidence, social connections and create more awareness for children with a visual disability. Besides, we hope that their skills, like working with other senses, will increase. The Sphera is easy to use, sound-guided and child friendly.

To achieve the goal of the Sphera, we set up the following main question: ‘How can we support visually impaired children in accepting and getting along with their disability?’.
We answered this question by doing research into the topic and dividing the main question into sub-questions, which we also answered.
After doing the research and answering the sub-questions, we came to the conclusion that the best option for visually impaired children would be to create a ball that would be controlled by an app on a smartphone. The app uses sounds only, so there is no vision needed.

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On the outside the prototype is completely made of sustainable rubber to make the design much more firm/strong. Rubber is necessary to let the Sphera bounce, because it has to bounce on the ground as part of one game.

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Furthermore the rubber is added to make the Sphera 100% waterproof. The final product should be IP68 rated, this means that dust should not be caught or get stuck in charging ports etcetera. The Sphera should easily survive a dip in water up to 2 meters deep for 30 minutes. The 3D printed prototype we featured earlier is the representation of the outer structural design just below the rubber. We chose this structure, because it is strong and light.

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To make the app easy to use, we limited the amount of options per screen. This way the user can be sure they tap the option they want to access without misclicking.
The maximum amount of options on one page is limited to 4, with most pages only having 2 options.
Besides this, auditory feedback is also implemented in the app to make usage of the app as easy as possible for visually impaired people.