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  • Age
  • Occupation
    Senior Business Systems Analyst
  • Company
    NextEra Energy
  • Location
    Miami, Fla.

Viurniel Sanchez wants the blind to be able to read these words one day—or, at least, be able to hear them. The electrical engineer, who analyzes cybersecurity matters for NextEra’s Florida Power & Light Co., has developed a prototype of a device he calls EyeTalker: a pair of sunglasses with a mounted camera and voice device that can scan text and then read it aloud. The concept took a top prize at the Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge in 2013, and draws from Sanchez’s earlier academic work at Florida International University crafting target-recognition capabilities in drones, a project that won funding from both the Department of Defense and NASA. His next step, he says, is to create a nonprofit organization that can distribute EyeTalker to as many of the world’s 285 million blind people as it can, allowing them to do something that most seeing people would consider simple: reading a product label in a grocery store. “They want to know if they’re holding a Coke or a Pepsi,” says Sanchez.