This wouldn’t be the first time someone who’s visually impaired has run in a long-distance race. But it would be the first time they’ve done it on their OWN.
A 35-year-old guy from England named Simon Wheatcroft had a degenerative eye disease, and went blind when he was a teenager.
For the past several years, he’s been working with IBM on a navigation device to help guide him while he runs. And he’s going to use it this weekend to run the NEW YORK CITY MARATHON.
The device is called a Wayband. It goes on his wrist and uses GPS to guide him through the course. Instead of audio alerts, it vibrates.
He’s used it before . . . in fact, he used it to run part of an ultra-marathon in Africa last year, but there were a lot of long straightaways that time. New York should be harder, especially if his GPS drops out because of all the tall buildings.
It sounds like it’s partly a marketing stunt, but it’s also a proof of concept thing. If he can run a marathon, other people should feel confident using it to walk around town.
You can’t buy one yet, but he says they’ll eventually cost about $300. (Mirror)