Monday, August 11, 2008

Really Amazing Story - Kid Uses Personal "Sonar" To See World Around Him

Sixteen year old, Ben Underwood was just shy of his 2nd birthday when he lost his eyes. He had Bilateral Retinoblastoma, cancer, in both of them and had to grow up in a world without sight.

Ben didn't let it slow him down. In time he learned that when he made clicking noises with his tongue, the sound would bounce of of things around him in different ways. As he honed his sonar or human echolocation, techniques, he became more and more aware of his surroundings until finally his clickings painted an audible "picture" of the world.

In one particular video, he walks down the street pointing out a fire hydrant, a parked wait, it's a large recycling bin. He then schools the interviewer in a game of foosball. (listen to the news guy talk smack) He rides a bike and even plays video games by breaking down the different sounds the characters and environments make. Just watch the videos. This kid blows my mind.

For more info, check out his website.

Here is an introductory video on Ben and his incredible method of "seeing" the world around him. You even get to see him shoot baskets here:

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