The Third Eye – Story Of Pranav Lal
When he said ‘SENSORY SUBSTITUTION TECHNOLOGY’, I was clueless what he meant. Then he started talking about how he has been using statistics to interpret images and I was already wondering what he was trying to explain to me. By now I already knew that I was talking to one of the very few visually impaired photographers in India and across the globe. Welcome to the world of Pranav Lal.
Born in Kuwait, the biggest challenge Pranav faced as a visually impaired was accessing information. While he had access to audio books much before many others in India did, he was already listening to BBC and Voice of America on Radio but still most of the information he needed was not accessible. Pranav enjoyed technology from his childhood days. His parents, in particular his father ensured that he had sufficient exposure to it. It is only now that he thinks about it, that it is fortunate he likes technology. No wonder, he has leverage this passion of his to develop support devices for his fellow VIPs (visually impaired persons).
In the area of NVDA (non-visual desktop access), Pranav has played a pivotal role in developing the dictation bridge which announces back what you are typing. The dictation Bridge program echoes back recognized text from speech recognition engine specifically. It works with Dragon Professional from Nuance and with Microsoft’s speech-recognition engine.
In the area of photography, he has been working for more than a decade to see how he can capture images better and how they can be explained to the mind when the eyes cannot see. The software that is at the core of the third eye was developed by Dr. Peter B.L. Meijer. ‘I have worked on developing its variant that works on Linux and similar operating systems and keep working on better hardware to enhance its ease-of-use and to capture the best possible image’ says Pranav. To understand more, maybe you need to meet him!
with his one hand’s fingers not completely developed and cane in the other, Pranav finds it very difficult to maneuver his way on the road and staircases, for that he is developing a device for capturing below the knee impediments which come on his way. he says this device, once developed, will be worn on the waist.