22 October 2019

author: Timotej Skledar

When I took the train home last week, I met Ana at the train station. We arranged to sit together on the train. She just graduated from high school and as me, she is blind, with only minimal vision left. On the train we got into conversation about everyday things and as the discussion went on I mentioned that I got my first job and I work as an marketing assistent at Feelif. She had heard of Feelif before but had never had the chance to try the devices.

Before she realized I put my own Feelif at the table in front of her. At first I showed her the instructions where she learned all the gestures to navigate inside the applications. Then I've let her feel different digital tactile books, Feelbooks. She touched the screen and was surprised to find that she could distinguish different colors and directions only through vibration and sound. She was also very interested in the Braille learning app. She used to learn braille by the classical method, with the help of nails. They had to be put in the right holes and then replaced again, which was often very time-consuming. Fascinated by the interactive and fun side of the exercises,  and above all, she enjoyed the exclaiming and clapping at the end if she solved the exercise correctly.

Ana wants to become an economist. I showed her therefore how to feel mathematical graphs and diagrams on Feelif. She typed in the equation of the curve and then traced it with her finger through vibration and sound.

"How beautiful the function looks," she exclaimed, holding the tablet in front of her for a short distance. That's when she first asked about the price of the device. I felt she understood how it could be of use to her in school. “Will you lend it to me if I need it before I can buy it?” She smiled. "That's not all Feelif can do," I said, opening the Feelif Gallery. "Feelif also helps you feel pictures and read text." "And it tells you what color the object is! Crazy! ”She realized as she held her finger for a few moments in a picture showing a girl wearing a red T-shirt. The Feelif Camera app  has fascinated her completely. I let her explore the surroundings for a while and feel the shapes of the objects on the photos.

The train moved quietly forward. When she finally got my attention again, I asked her, "Well, how do you like it?"

»I'm missing some games and entertainment.«

»Oh, you don't say« I said with a huge smile and started the game '4 in a row'. The ride passed quickly, too fast.