‘Blink to Speak’: an idea ‘hiding in plain sight’

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The Grand Prix for Good was awarded to a campaign that has given paralysed people, limited to eye movement, the ability to communicate in a more accurate and effective way ­— and in the process, has also created a new global language.

“’Blink to Speak’ by TBWA\India is so amazing it gave us all the shivers,” said jury president Rajesh Mirchandani, chief communications officer for the United Nations. “The Grand Prix for Good recognises campaigns that genuinely contribute to sustainable development goals (SDGs), and during the judging we saw many entries that did that in key areas. But the winner combines scalability with empowerment.”

‘Blink to Speak’ is an eye-movement guidebook which, by using 50 eye movements, allows people to communicate about hundreds of things including their condition, their needs and their mood. “The project is amazing and the book is a design classic,” Mirchandani said. “It has created a new universal language, using a very simple system. The basic idea is one that has genuine clinical value. It’s also one of those brilliant ideas that was hiding in plain sight. It’s hard to believe that nobody thought of this before, but that’s often the case with truly game-changing ideas.”

 
Harriet Palmer