Applied and Popular Science

Echolocation: This Blind Man Leading the Blind

Catalyst - April, 2016
ABC Australia

This presents a comprehensive review of our work. This show-cases our work in Australia and around the world. It covers our work with multiple students, FlashSonar demonstrations, and the brain scan research.


By Ariel Bleicher

This is a scientific review of our work and the work surrounding it, focusing on the brain mechanisms underlying perception.

Making Sense of the World, Several Senses at a Time: Sensory cross-talk helps us navigate the world

Scientific American - February 28, 2012
By Lena Groeger

This article discusses how we use our senses to perceive and understand our world, with mention of our work.

Science, The Power of Perception: How Human Echolocation Is Being Put Into Practice

Abilities Magazine - Spring, 2011 ©
By Liz Brown

This article is an exquisite overview of our approach, the science behind it, what students have said about it, and a personal touch of how the approach was developed. The only thing is ... Daniel doesn't reside in England. "Kish describes his ability as something akin to having a conversation with his environment. “The clicking is like asking two questions, ‘What are you?’ and ‘Where are you?’” he says. According to Kish, echolocators hear distinct answers from different objects. ... “Echolocation can be divided into passive and active types,” he explains. “I’d say about 50 percent of people who are blind use some form of passive echolocation, often unaware that they are doing it. Perhaps about 10 percent use some form of active echolocation [where the user is producing his or her own signal], but only a small percentage, maybe three percent, use it to an advanced degree.” While many people use echolocation, most have trouble articulating how they do it, so it’s historically been difficult to teach it to others in a systematic fashion. ... “Hitherto, it was believed that human biosonar was so crude as to not be worth studying. However, this is shown to be not true, so scientists are waking up to the interest.” ... There are two ways that people who are blind can use echolocation to navigate environments. One is to use clicks to maintain orientation—that is, to identify surroundings and one’s position in relation to those surroundings. The other is to use clicks to target a specific object—to identify the backboard of a basketball net to make a shot, for example. According to Kish, active echolocation is always more effective than passive echolocation. “You want a sharp tongue click, and you want to be scanning with your head, much as people scan through eye movement,” he explains. “You also want to vary the amplitude of the click with the requirement of the situation, generally louder for noisy environments or for targets that are further away.”"

Seeing with Sound: Using echolocation, the visually impaired get in the game.

Exhibit at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, YOU! The Experience - October, 2009

This short but impactful video showcases a blind teenager named Sebastion learning FlashSonar from Daniel Kish and Brian Bushway. It is part of the first display on echolocation science known to be exhibited in a science museum. We are told that it is one of their most popular exhibits.

Echo Vision: The Man Who Sees With Sound

New Scientist - April, 2009
by Daniel Kish

Daniel Kish was requested to write this article about the scientific basis of FlashSonar.

Spanish scientists Study the Effectiveness of Sonar Signals in humans

June & July, 2009

Read about how our work with Spanish scientists, published in the journal Acta Acustica, is reviewed by Discovery News, National Geographic Online, and others.

Sound You Can See

Popular Science - June, 2001
Kelli Miller

About FlashSonar and sonar enhancement technology.

10 Real Human Superpowers, Daniel Kish, sonic sight

Mandatory - February 5, 2013
by Tom Currie

Daniel Kish is featured second out of 10 superpowers reviewed, "you're probably familiar with the concept of echolocation, the ability for bats, dolphins, and whales to "see" through pulses of sound waves. What may surprise you is that a surprising number of humans have essentially trained themselves to do the same thing after losing their eyesight"

A Spot Light on FlashSonar and Brain Science

Articles and news pieces on the plasticity of blind brains that learn to see.

How scientists are helping blind people see with their ears

Vox Log - November 7, 2014
By Susannah Locke

A review of the current state of various technologies related to the use of sonar by humans - includes a brief review of the work of World Access for the Blind.

Super Human Challenge - Juan Ruiz

BBC - February, 2013

In a light-hearted but penetrating exposé, Juan Ruiz, Perceptual Navigation Instructor, Under the direction of a scientist, takes on a series of rivoting and competitive challenges to test the limits of his FlashSonar.

Human bat uses echoes and sounds to see the world

New Scientist - May 6, 2015
by Clare Wilson

Article about how Brian Borowski taught himself how to echolocate, and his involvement with studies between World Access for the Blind and University of Western Ontario.

The Science of How Daredevil Can See Without Sight

GeekTyrant - May, 2015
by Joey Paur

"How does DAREDEVIL protect his neighborhood despite being blind? Kyle tells you all about echolocation and how we can all be more Daredevil-like on Because Science."
Refers to Daniel Kish by way of demonstration.

Some Blind People Trained Themselves to Use Echolocation

Gizmodo - May 25, 2015
By Kiona Smith-Strickland

"A subset of the blind population has figured out to use echolocation to navigate the world. They make clicking sounds with their tongues or by clicking their fingers, and then perceive how those sounds bounce off objects around them. It's a learned skill, and researchers think we're all physiologically capable of picking it up, but it requires training and practice to master."
"Forget the five senses you learned in elementary school; perception is much more complex, and the human brain is much more adaptable, than previously thought."

Sonic Magic

CBC: The Nature of Things with David Suzuki - Autumn, 2015

Daniel Kish is featured explaining and demonstrating our work with FlashSonar, and it's implications for modern science.