Technology is Allowing This Blind Racer to Ski Alone

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Noemi Ristau is a German ski racer with Stargardt disease, a disease which has progressively impaired her vision. As Paralympic skier, she normally trains and races with a spotter who skis in front of her and directs her via a headset. That might be changing, though: As a commercial stunt to advertise their new 5G network, Vodafone decided to help Noemi ski without a spotter in close proximity. They strapped a cellphone to her head which livestreams her "view" to her spotter, sitting at the hill's bottom. The spotter uses the nearly-realtime stream to give instructions.

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While we'd rather see good deeds done for their own sake instead of as commercial stunts, a good deed is a good deed. Both Noemi and her spotter Paula seem stoked, and the potential for greater independence for visually impaired skiers is exciting indeed.

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