Ask a Developer Series: Dr. Peter Meijer

Android Dev 101

1) From where did the idea originate for the vOICe application?

It all started back in 1983 while I was studying physics at Delft University
of Technology. I wanted to learn more about digital technology by designing
a digital device. So I sat down brainstorming for a few days, trying to think
of something novel, challenging and potentially useful to mankind, and then
this idea of converting images into sound was born: my hope was that blind
people might – over time and after extensive practice – learn to mentally
perform the reverse mapping, and “see” the images that were encoded in sound.
A rising line would sound like a rising tone, and when hearing a rising tone
they “ought” to visualize and “see” a rising line. Two lines would sound as
two simultaneous tones, and so on up to arbitrary image bitmaps. Now PCs were
way too slow back…

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