About Ballast CPH
Christine Svensson, Helle Vedø og Michala Mathiesen started the company Ballast CPH in 2016 after finishing their master's degree in Sustainable Design from AAU CPH.
The three female entrepreneurs use their design and engineering skills from their studies on a daily basis, and through Ballast CPH they offer consultancy and workshop facilitation within user involvement and accessibility optimization. Their focus is on welfare technology, co-design and social sustainability.
Their shared thesis project became a stepping stone towards creating their own business. With the goal of empowering people with low vision and improve social equality, they developed a pair of vision simulation goggles called Perspectacles. .
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Perspectacles Simulation Goggles
Perspectacles simulation goggles make it possible to experience different kinds of low vision with your own eyes. As a sighted person it can be hard to understand what it really means to be partially sighted, e.g. having tunnel vision, blurred vision or spotted vision. Perspectacles help create empathy and a bodily understanding of partial sightedness. The simulation goggles add valuable insight in the daily challenges that partially sighted people meet. The simulation goggles come with an adhesive vision filter to simulate a particular condition. The original vision filter can be replaced with other filters to simulate different conditions. These filters can be combined as needed for personalization of the simulation experience. Sheets of additional vision filters can be bought separately. Perspectacles are easily adjusted to different head sizes, and the foam lining makes sure that the simulation experience is comfortable. The simulation goggles are developed in close collaboration with The Institute of the Blind and Partially Sighted (IBOS) in Denmark and with partially sighted users and their relatives.
Perspectacles the Game
Perspectacles The Game is a simulation game, which evolves around the Perspectacles simulation goggles and a persona with a particular type of low vision. The simulation goggles make it possible to experience different kinds of low vision with your own eyes. The game guides the players through different simulation activities while wearing the goggles. Perspectacles The Game adds valuable insight in the daily challenges that the persona meets and leads to a collection of concrete solutions that can ensure better accessibility for those with low vision. Several other personas with matching Perspectacles simulation goggles can be bought separately to obtain simulation experiences on other eye conditions as well.
Christine, Helle and Michala’s vision for their company Ballast CPH is to help more organisations involve users and other parties in their work, exactly as they have done while developing Perspectacles. The most important lesson from their studies at AAU CPH is that the key to successful solutions is to find the underlying problem(s) and design with users - not for them. They have recently carried out workshops for students at Københavns Erhvervsakademi, employees from Copenhagen Municipality, the design company Kompan and many others with the purpose of involving more blind and partially sighted users in design and development processes. .