Devices for visually impaired people: High technological devices with low user acceptance and no adaptability for children

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2016 Oct:69:79-88. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.06.043. Epub 2016 Jul 30.


Considering that cortical plasticity is maximal in the child, why are the majority of technological devices available for visually impaired users meant for adults and not for children? Moreover, despite high technological advancements in recent years, why is there still no full user acceptance of existing sensory substitution devices? The goal of this review is to create a link between neuroscientists and engineers by opening a discussion about the direction that the development of technological devices for visually impaired people is taking. Firstly, we review works on spatial and social skills in children with visual impairments, showing that lack of vision is associated with other sensory and motor delays. Secondly, we present some of the technological solutions developed to date for visually impaired people. Doing this, we highlight the core features of these systems and discuss their limits. We also discuss the possible reasons behind the low adaptability in children.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Dark Adaptation*
  • Humans
  • Visually Impaired Persons*