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PROJECT BISHOP – Not Impossible Labs Adaptive Skateboarding Technology made possible by Zappos

PROJECT BISHOP – Not Impossible Labs Adaptive Skateboarding Technology made possible by Zappos


Justin: I have a disease called
retinitis pigmentosa. I’m fully blind in this eye and this eye, my retina
is detaching right now so I can see shapes and shadows out of the corner of this
eye, like right there. Carol: Skateboarding’s everything to Justin. It’s really important to him, it’s not just a hobby. Justin: Before I lost my vision skating was the best thing ever. It consumed my life. For me, it was interesting
’cause I would see him everyday at the skate park eventually he stopped showing up. Jeff: When he found out that he was
starting to lose the vision, he was really depressed. You know, I was depressed too,
I, you know, you curse God and you go why’d you
make this happen to him? But then you realize, it happened to him because he can handle it. Mick: Absurdity Projects are a by-product of our infatuation at Not Impossible of solving things that we
see just have to be solved. Mikela: The Absurdity Project came about after Mick had spoke at
our March 2018 all hands. I remember he had mentioned briefly that he had rode a skateboard. Kind of hit home for Mick also, to know what it’s like,
to know the feeling. Mick: We launched an initiative
called the Absurdity Project which is crowd sourcing,
going out to the crowd and asking people what is absurd and who is your one. We have an employee here, actually works on my team, is a videographer named Jovahn who’s a skateboarder,
an amazing skateboarder. Mick: Joe’s absurdity was is
there a way that Justin can go back to skating
the way that he used to because he was an incredible skater. Tyler: He was on a trajectory
to go pro, he was amazing. I think I remember telling him like I think we’re gonna change the world, I think we’re gonna make
a really big difference in the world and it starts here. (wheel spinning sound) Mick: We began this project
in late summer of 2018. What’s up Justin? How do you feel man, what do you think of this place? We’d been looking at different
ways that we could develop this solution that would
give Justin the perspective and the ability to
understand his environment. Tony: Trying to make a sort of structure sound environment so that as Justin goes
through the skate park, he has, like geographical
markers that he can use. (beeping) Justin: Wow! Am I on it? Mick: In the end, what we created was (beeping) this sound array. (upbeat jazzy music) Tony: We’ve created these little speakers that create a directional beam of sound so it acts as a, really kind
of focused acoustical marker. Justin: I call it, kinda like soundscape because like, I can map out
what I’m skating in my head by the different sounds and
how it’s hitting my ears. Justin: Right about here. Mick: You’re on a fast moving surface that’s coming up to very hard surfaces in a very rapid way so there is this need
to be able to navigate the world rapidly and precisely. (laughing) You can get really fixated
as, again as a skateboarder, as an athlete, in this one thing and you can see that
obviously with Justin, like I’ve seen him just
go for the same trick over and over and over. And do it usually, like, which is crazy. Jovahn: Since this technology
has kinda came into place, like if anything is getting better, he’s not just skating from
a place of muscle memory of, you know, prior to losing his vision, it’s now, you know, I
have this technology, I have the confidence in this,
let’s learn new stuff too. The technology that Not Impossible is creating for me to skate, it is… dangerous because they got me back in the air, kinda flying again. Jeff: His patience is unbelievable. He has this perspective, if I
can do something being blind, you can do it with your sight and we’re gonna get through it together. Carol: I think that he is just
a really good example. Justin: I haven’t done that since I could see. Carol: I know! He motivates me on a daily basis. I want to be a sponsored skater again I miss that it’s not about getting free stuff, it was just about being valued and all this hard work that
you’re putting into it, it just shows that
somebody appreciates it, someone notices it. You gotta have goals, kind of
way out there for a reason. Tyler: At first I thought the
output would be the technology but really the output of the project is Justin. He’s the one that can lead to many, that I think is really exciting. (cheering)

5 comments

thats amazing. I've heard when people loose their sight sometimes they develop a very keen sense of hearing, and it makes since. very cool technology and amazing Thrasher part.

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