blind by Claude J. Easy November 2, 2017
Registered blind at 17 due to a degenerative eye disease, Simon Wheatcroft, now 35, is about to make history.
Wheatcroft will be running without any human assistance in the NYC Marathon on Sunday.
Hailing from England, Wheatcroft is putting it on for blind marathon runners everywhere.
He’s not only aiming to be the first blind competitor but he’s perfecting the Wayband technology that will transform the lives of other blind and partially sighted people.
Our users are at the ❤️ of what we do. Simon has been giving us first-hand feedback on the device, as he prepares for the NYC marathon this November. Follow his story along with the WearWorks team as we develop Wayband™ to get him to the finish line! 🏃@nycmarathon • • Follow our story! www.wear.works Link in bio. #WearWorksTeam
The Wayband technology is a GPS armband that emits small vibrations. The vibrations tell the blind user when to turn left and right.
The device will let Wheatcroft know when he gets too close to other marathon participators and will warn him if there is an obstacle in his path.
Although the Wayband will guide Wheatcroft, the road to the NYC Marathon start line has not been easy.
Testing the groundbreaking technology was brolic AF. Imagine running in the streets with your eyes closed.
In an interview with ITV, Wheatcroft said,
“When you can’t see where you’re running you have to assume the environment is constant. That has seen me running into burnt-out cars that have been left in the middle of the pavement and injuring myself quite badly.”
But his endurance is unmatchable and this isn’t his first rodeo. Wheatcroft also used the smartphone application and device while running an ultra-marathon in Africa last year.
The only difference is NYC’s tall buildings. The Wayband device’s GPS could lose signal because of the many skyscrapers.
This is his only worry, but Wheatcroft looks at the overall mission as inspiration. Peep what he said in the ITV interview,
“I’m not doing these things just so I can be the first to do this and the first to do that, what I’m interested in is making sure this technology exists to help everybody.”
Watch Wheatcroft run in the NYC Marathon this Sunday, November 5. He’s finna inspire people who are in a dark place.