Some people who suffer from eye problems or blindness have means of going about their daily lives in a similar fashion to how they did before their condition developed, but many have struggled with things such as medication bottles – until now.
That is because two design students at the University of Cincinnati have come up with a prototype for a prescription-medicine pill bottle that better serves the needs of the blind and visually impaired by means of a simple and inexpensive innovation.
Design students Alex Broerman and Ashley Ma claim the new design will satisfy the needs of the millions of people around the world who are legally blind, as well as many more who have less-severe vision impairment.
The design features a hinge that flips open, which is intended to avoid the problem of lost caps – an issue for the visually impaired - and twist caps, which can be a challenge for the elderly.
However, at the same time, the flip lid is designed to be child proof to keep medication out of the hands of youngsters.
The bottle body is rectangular, measuring two-by-two inches wide and three inches tall, and allows the user to easily reach in and pick out pills without the need to pour out a larger supply into the palm of their hand.
The inventors also note that the stout design of the bottle prevents it from tipping over and the medication being spilled.
On the bottle's flip lid, there are eight distinct types to correspond with a different medication, but these are not Braille, as only ten per cent of the world's blind and visually impaired can read Braille.
In addition, the lids each have different, dramatic, deep colours, so medication can be differentiated by the lid colour – something that can be made out by partially sighted people with a limited range of vision.
Finally, a "fail-safe" audio button on the lid can be pressed for an audio statement on the medicinal contents.
Ms Ma explained that conversations with focus groups have so far indicated that the design is something that is urgently required.
"So the challenge becomes to create the best solution for the most number of people at the lowest cost, and we're pretty confident that we've achieved something like that with this project," she concluded.