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Scientists design aquariums for the blind

Eileen here. The blind and visually impaired  have greater access than ever before to activities that have been off-limited in the past, but until very recently they have not been able to enjoy the beauty and activity of a colorful aquarium like the rest of us. A group of scientists is working to change this. The Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology is designing what they have dubbed “The Accessible Aquarium.”

The Accessible Aquarium is fitted with cameras and sensors that track the movement of the different colored fish and sends the data back to a computer system. The data is then translated into different pitches, instruments and sounds that change with the speed and movement of the fish. The center is also hoping to be able to apply this technology to venues like zoos and museums as well as aquariums. According to a recent Yahoo! Tech news article, the researchers “wanted to help people with disabilities do something that’s more fun and than functional.”

Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology: http://gtcmt.coa.gatech.edu/

Yahoo! Tech article: http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20081217/ap_on_hi_te/tec_techbit_audio_aquarium

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About Eileen Daub

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Marine Biologist/Aquatic Husbandry Manager I was one of those kids who said "I want to be a marine biologist when I grow up!"....except then I actually became one. After a brief time at the United States Coast Guard Academy, I graduated from Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in 2004. Since then, I've been a marine biologist at That Fish Place - That Pet Place, along with a Fish Room supervisor, copywriter, livestock inventory controller, livestock mail-order supervisor and other duties here and there. I also spent eight seasons as a professional actress with the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire and in other local roles. If that isn't bad enough, I'm a proud Crazy Hockey Fan (go Flyers and go Hershey Bears!).