Seiichi Miyake celebrated: Google Doodle honours innovative work of Japanese inventor

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates Seiichi Miyake, a Japanese inventor who developed paving systems in public spaces to assist the visually impaired.

Tactile paving, as it is known today, is now a common feature on the edges of crosswalks and railway platforms in public spaces all over the world.

Here’s everything you need to know about the man inspiring the latest Google Doodle:

Who was Seiichi Miyake? When did he invent tactile paving?

It was the need to help a friend who was losing their sight that led Miyake to invent tactile paving in 1965.

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the work of Japanese inventor Seiichi Miyake (Google)

Originally known as Tenji blocks, the carefully thought out system was designed to create warnings alerting the visually impaired to dangers in public spaces, such as when boarding trains.

The first pattern was a series of lines that indicated to visually impaired people that it was safe to keep moving forward. Another pattern contained what was then called “truncated domes” and suggested to the visually impaired person that they should stop.

Why is Seiichi Miyake being celebrated with a Google Doodle today?

Today’s Google Doodle marks the day tactile paving was introduced on a street near the Okayama School for the Blind in Okayama City, Japan in 1967.

A decade later, Miyake’s system was made mandatory in the Japanese National Railways. Since then, tactile paving is now used around the world.

Today’s  animated Google Doodle depicts the tactile paving patterns as the Google logo.

The Doodle is intended to portray how individuals could identify the tiles with the help of guide dogs or feeling through their shoes.


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