You know, the Trekker Breeze is a cool little gadget, but this promo video for it is a fail. It makes you feel dumb just to watch it, and part of me wonders if it was geared towards the uninformed, to suck them in, which makes me angry.
Right out of the gate, what the hell is a vendor of a product for blind people doing encouraging the step-counting stereotype? Nobody but ants count their steps, got it? Who wrote that gem of a sentence. Maybe people try it when they first go blind, as Ro has said, but they soon abandon it. I don’t think there’s a single O and M instructor that advocates counting steps anymore. It doesn’t work, and how dare a company put that into a so-called up to date video?
It says that this thing will let you do your neighbourhood chores freely without having to depend on people, ask passers-by for help or worry about getting lost. Um, if you don’t know what to do with the information it’s giving you, you will still need to ask for help, and you will still get lost. And I don’t think anyone should get one of these if they don’t at least have an understanding of their neighbourhood. You can’t go from going everywhere assisted by sighted guide to running around free with a GPS. You need O and M and an understanding of where you’re going. Otherwise, you double run the risk of walking straight into danger because your GPS told you to.
I kill myself laughing when it says “Breeze guides you safely to your destination.” No it doesn’t! It can’t tell you you’re going to smack a pole. It can’t tell you that car is about to crush you. It can’t tell you you’re about to walk into a construction pit. It gives you nice information, but it doesn’t “guide you safely.” The only way to be guided safely to your destination is by using a cane or a dog And they know this. See this little section from their manual.
Caution: The Breeze system is designed as an orientation aid only and must not, at any time, be used as the only aid while traveling. When using Breeze, users should always be vigilant, stay alert and pay attention to the immediate surrounding area. A conventional mobility aid like a cane or a guide dog should also be used. Breeze is not a mobility device. It is the user’s responsibility to use this device with caution. Do not use headphones while walking on the street.
And the last thing that bugged me about this video is it’s all out of sync. Watch where the girl marks a park bench as a landmark. Notice how it doesn’t match up with what he’s saying. Good job, way to go.
I can totally see how some people would love a Breeze because it’s simple and it’s one piece of equipment. When I got to mess with a full Trekker, I liked the idea of route-planning, which the breeze doesn’t have. And another thing you could do on a Trekker is punch addresses in, and it would estimate where it was. I don’t think the Breeze can do that either. But I totally think some people would think the Breeze is awesome. But that video…that video has to go! I really think it will have some uninformed folks buying Breezes and then being horribly disappointed.