Now equal access to racing video games for blind gamers is possible

The RAD, an audio-based interface that can easily be integrated into existing video games, enables people who are visually impaired to play video games with the same speed & control as sighted players, with full 3D graphics & complex, challenging racetracks


Brian A. Smith, a PhD candidate in Computer Science at Columbia Engineering, has developed the RAD, a racing auditory display to enable gamers who are visually impaired to play the same types of racing games that sighted players can play with the same speed, control, and excitement that sighted players experience. The audio-based interface, which a player can listen to using a standard pair of headphones, can be integrated by developers into almost any racing video game, making a popular genre of games equally accessible to people who are blind.


Smith designed the RAD and then built a prototype car racing game in Unity, the most popular game engines in the world, and integrated the RAD into that prototype. He ran two studies with 15 participants he recruited through the Brooklyn-based Helen Keller Services for the Blind and volunteers at Columbia.


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