Using Webcams to See

Once in a while, I’m inspired by someone using our webcams in a surprising way.

Ed Gallagher lost his vision last year after a seven-year battle with a virus that destroyed his retinas. Instead of giving up the activities he loves, he applied his positive outlook and innovative thinking to develop a solution that allows him to do things like bike, shop, and ski. In fact, through the help of his Logitech webcam, Skype and a few friends, Ed even continues to sail the San Francisco Bay as he has for the past 30 years.

Ed, who is the commodore for the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors, “wears” a webcam that is connected to a Netbook running Skype. A friend on the other end of the Skype call directs Ed’s movements, helping him navigate. In this Today Show clip, it’s amazing to see Ed sailing a boat with ease as he continues to enjoy life. Ed hopes to develop a device that could be more easily worn by a blind person. One thing is for sure – his creativity and generosity to others in trying to overcome a physical limitation through the use of technology is truly inspiring.

Author

Vice President, Internet Communications

4 comments

  • The aggrssiveness of the logitech program re the mouse and key-
    board keeps it from working with important dos programs. I
    a terrific accounting program Cablesoft Livewire; which is built on dos. Every fkey is an integral part of the program.
    Logitech will not work with that. I must have Livewire to record my stock market transactions and print them out for tax purposes. Can you build a patch that would over ride Logetich
    button functions which I could download? Logitech is so aggre-
    sive, it is killing a lot of my time. It ties up my computer after I disconnected the mouse and keyboard. I still want to
    use it for the westell 927 wireless. Remelle Davis 5/10/09

  • hi,
    Just saw the blind sailing video. Do you have a webcam for
    night vision or visual field expansion?
    regards,
    Pete Swanson
    also a legally blind sailor

  • Hi Gina I downloaded Logitech Vid. and am impressed with the quality of picture, BUT have no sound. I don’t have a Logitech cam but would buy one to get the quality of picture but need assurance I get the sound.

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