Custom-Built RooVision Helmet Allows Blind Liverpool Fan To Watch His Team Play Football
A blind Liverpool fan now has the opportunity to watch his side play football thanks to the help of a specialist helmet.
Ian Wood, 41, has watched the Reds play football at Anfield for two decades, but he has suffered from visual impairment since the age of five and only has access to five per cent of his vision.
However, that all changed after Wood received a £600 piece of tech from Remap, a charity that helps to design products that support disabled people.
"This has changed my life. I've been a fan since I was a boy and remember going to a match in the 1990s and they didn't even have audio-commentary, so this is amazing," he told the Daily Mirror.
"After years of listening from the sidelines, I can actually shout to the ref 'that was never a penalty' if I don't like what I see.
"I can't read the names on players' shirts, but I can tell who has the ball.
"I get so much more from the game than I did before."
Designer Rupert 'Roo' Powell is an electrical engineer for Remap and helped design the helmet, which has been named 'RooVision' after him.
With RooVision, Wood is able to see images that have been enhanced through a small computer, which is linked to a high-definition camera capturing the moments on the field.
Powell used a ski helmet to hold the equipment in place, as well as giving it a three-hour-long battery life so that Wood won't miss any of the action if Liverpool are in extra-time or in a penalty shootout.
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"At home, Ian watched football on a 42in screen, with his nose nearly touching the glass," he explained.
"I said if you could have that at a live game, would you be able to watch? He said yes, so that was the starting point."
Of course, the Liverpool fan has already used the RooVision when his side played Everton in the Merseyside derby.
"It was really impressive. We beat Everton 2-1 and I witnessed Virgil van Dijk's first goal for Liverpool," he recalled.
"It was an amazing experience and a perfect result for us."
The Reds fan is planning to do the Super Hero Triathlon for Remap, helping to raise funds for the charity to support other disabled people.
For more information on Wood's challenge, check out his JustGiving page.
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Featured Image Credit: PA/Ian Wood
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