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Game and Industrial designers create hand-held video game for visually impaired children

on Tuesday,November 24,2009 21:11

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The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Student Design Awards contest were created to recognize the year''s greatest achievements by student designers, and the 2009 winners came from the Rochester institute of Technology who designed a portable video game system for the visually impaired.

Beginning as a senior project, the hand-held "Interactive Game for Child" as it''s called was constructed from a mixture of custom and commercially available parts. It boasts a rechargeable battery, a 4-inch display screen and three available games programmed on memory discs that were designed by the RIT team.

Utilizing simple shapes large enough for the child to see, the games task players to solve puzzles, complete memory challenges, and avoid a stream of falling objects.

The team tested the product on Luke Fortner, a local 9-year-old boy who has limited eyesight due to being born prematurely.

"The thing for me, as a mom, that was so significant, was to watch this team of college students really take the time to get to know Luke and see Luke as a person," said the boy''s mother, Cindy Fortner, tells ROCNow.com.

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