Blind hockey players may soon be able to play with a high tech audible puck
Montreal researchers have come up with a new and better audible hockey puck that they say could transform and improve the game for blind hockey players.
François Beauregard, co-captain of the blind hockey team Les Hiboux de Montreal said the standard puck is made of metal - big, slow and heavy - and filled with steel ball bearings.
"The problem with that puck, it doesn't make noise when it's sitting on the ice and it doesn't make noise when it's shot in the air," Beauregard told the Aaron Rand Show.
Beauregarde told the Aaron Rand Show they went to the UQAM industrial design and microelectronics departments and " we asked for a better puck."
"They came up with a puck which actually beeps all the time - it actually has a different beep when it doesn't move, another one when it's in the air," said Beauregard.
But the high-tech prototype puck didn't come easy.
"The first tryouts we had a couple of years back were kind of comical. The pucks exploded off the posts of the goal after a couple of shots and things like that or the noise was so deafening that no one could actually talk around the puck," said Beauregard.
Beauregard said they also had to make sure the puck could work in a "cold, wet,and very, very hostile environment - which is a hockey game."
"Try to play hockey with your smartphone and you'll understand what I mean."
Toronto and Vancouver also have blind hockey clubs and there are about 12 teams in the U.S.
Beauregarde said they want to find a partner that could help researchers scale their product and come up with a final design.
"Soon we're going to be sending the puck across the country to all the other Canadian teams, ask for feedback and move up to the next level," said Beauregard.