Thursday, February 14, 2008

human echolocation

just today i accidentally watched the episode of Oprah and it featured a teenager who uses echolocation to walk his way even when he is blind.

his name is Ben Underwood.

he can freely walk on the street, go up stairs and even going to school. it was inspiring because when he was still a kid, his family discovered that there was a cancer in his eyes so they have to take it out and replaced it with an artificial eye. from this time on he grew up blind but not for a long time when he noticed that when he makes a clicking sound with his tounge, there is a vibration coming back. this is echolocation. same thing used by bats and dolphins to determine their environment.

how does it help him? whenever he makes sounds the sound bounces back and reflects back as a vibration. it differs depending on the hardness or simply the material. so he can determine if the objects in front of him is a space, a wood, a metal or a glass. growing up using this rare ability, he mastered it to the point that he can play basketball, ride a bike, use rollerblades and play along. wow! so now he is sixteen years old and living almost normally.

he is already being featured in some magazines and tv shows because of his rare human ability and watch for the stories that he writing which will be out soon. you can watch a documentary of Ben the boy who believe he is not blind, he just can't see. just follow this link:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLziFMF4DHA

1 comment:

honey said...

it reminds me of Ben Affleck's movie wherein he was a blind superhero who saved humankind from evil by just following the vibrations of sound when he strikes an object into something...
probably they derived the concept of the movie through this real-life experience of Ben Underwood...
a lot of Ben's here..hehhe,

-honey-

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