Seeing Beyond Vision Loss

About REY

REY empowers people with visual impairments to manage tasks more independently and encourages social participation. The AI companion can also be used by people with normal vision and does away with prejudices that traditional assistive devices may foster. The project started with the research question of how to enable people with visual impairments to enjoy greater independence and participation in society. Numerous in-depth interviews with visually impaired people, trainers and experts, observations and co-creation sessions served as inspiration. Many people with visual impairments are early adopters of speech interfaces – using their phones for various tasks. However, they would need a hands-free, ears-open and contextaware solution to really make use of digital assistance. Additionally, this research project also set requirements for product packaging, digital service and detailed design aspects.

The technical configuration of REY includes a depth sensor and front camera, capturing the user’s view and translating visual inputs into audible inputs. The user can thus read text, recognize colors, people and facial expressions, and can also gain a better understanding of his or her surroundings through descriptions. The two integrated bone-conduction speakers let the user hear REY’s voice without covering up his or her ears, which is an important aspect of safety. The speakers are capable of producing 3D sound, and the two vibration motors make navigating instructions much more intuitive and less distracting. Furthermore, the 3D sound makes it possible for users with visual impairments to localize objects around them, facilitating many tasks. In addition to the features that specifically support visually impaired users, REY also makes it easier to perform smartphone-based tasks on the go, making a connected life easier for everybody.


Clara Fessler

Since 2018 Experience Designer at ZEISS, Munich, Germany
Expand vita

2012 - 2015 Bachelor Industrial Design at FH JOANNEUM, Graz, Austria
2015 6 month internship at N+P Industrial Design, Munich, Germany
2016 6 month internship at Vanberlo, Eindhoven/Netherlands
2012 - 2015 Master Industrial Design at FH JOANNEUM, Graz, Austria
Since 2018 Experience Designer at ZEISS, Munich, Germany

device = mobile