Lex Gillette may not be able to see, technology is letting him show kids how sports look from the athlete’s side.
Lex Gillette has been blind since he was 7 years old, but this hasn’t stopped him from becoming a three time American Paralympian, and he is now able to use Google Glass to share this experience with kids, who will be able to see his sport in a way that even he cannot.
Gillette is a competitor in the 100 meter, 200 meter, triple jump, and long jump events at the Paralympics.
Without being able to use his eyes to see what he is doing, Gillette has managed to bring home two silver medals in track and field events at the Paralympics. Now, with advances that have been made in camera technology, this athlete will be able to broadcast his sports, from his own perspective, with Google Glass augmented reality glasses. This will broadcast its way to classrooms throughout the United States, in August.
Gillette will be wearing a Google Glass headset to take kids with him when he takes off at a sprint.
According to Gillette, “I’m a blind athlete, and to be able to wear the glasses and have the kids see through my eyes although I can’t even myself, that’s amazing to me.” He added that “I’m a jumper primarily. There’s a lot of things that go on with that, having someone basically directing me down this runway, and I’m running fast, he’s making calls on the fly.”
To Gillette, this provides an AR experience that “would definitely be cool” for the children to be able to actually view the way in which all of this occurs, and to be able to see the visual of what his sports would look like if they were running in his shoes.
This entire experience is the result of a program called Classroom Champions, which uses technology to connect children who may be struggling in the classroom, with Olympic and Paralympic athletes. The purpose is to help them to understand the purpose, nature, and ability to set and pursue goals. Gillette pointed out that he doesn’t have any physical sight, but this has never been able to stop him from “having any dreams or the vision to accomplish my goal.”
A number of forms of technology other than Google Glass will also be used in this program including the Go-Pro spidercam and octocopters.