According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of 2002, 14 million people suffered from low vision. Worldwide, the number of people impacted by low vision is over 160 million. These numbers will continue to increase due to the rapidly aging population in many regions of the world.
Soundpaper on product labels, as shown here, has an obvious appeal to the community of visually impaired persons. A major complaint of blind and low-vision persons is that when preparing a meal they cannot be sure what is in their cans and packages, or knowing product expiration dates to prevent food poisoning. Compounding this problem is that existing UPC readers for the blind cost upwards of $1,000.
Soundpaper labels on food packages would provide a simple, low-cost alternative. There are additional major applications for Soundpaper in this challenged community. The vast majority of visually impaired population do not read Braille. Soundpaper could serve as an alternative to Braille in critical areas such as traffic signaling, instructions on consumer electronics, among others.