Zhizhen (Jerry) Tan
Zhizhen (Jerry) Tan
Jerry Tan is a 25 y/o, 6'1'', 170 lbs, short dark hair, glasses-wearing, award-winning, proud Asian designer. He is dedicated to exploring the intersection between reality and virtuality, and designing inclusive experiences for the blind and visually impaired community.

In his spare time, Jerry loves to do creative coding, road biking, and road trip. He enjoys seeing things from a fresh perspective :)
Thesis Faculty
John Roach, Barbara Morris, Anezka Sebek, Anna Harsanyi

EchoLearn: An Experimental Pedagogy and Mobile VR Simulator for Echolocation Distance Education

"It (Technology intervention) forces everyone to see the world through vision, but we want to encourage people to "SEE" with the senses that work for them.”

-- Thomas Tajo, a congenitally blind echolocation instructor

Full Description on Project Website


is an experimental pedagogy and mobile VR simulator for echolocation distance education. Delivered in the form of an Android mobile app, it activates the access for the blind and visually impaired community to engage in remote echolocation training and instructed self-practice.

In EchoLearn's acoustic virtual reality, users can directly perceive 3D objects and spatial settings in VR by emitting virtual mouth-clicks and interpreting their simulated and customizable sound reflections.

EchoLearn incorporates two kinds of VR echolocation exercises —

Basic Exercise

The basic exercise reproduces the five commonly used training practices in a VR white cube setting. In a series of multiple-choice quizzes, users can practice creating clicks and hearing their resulting sound reflections from a set of daily objects.

Advanced Exercises

A series of advanced exercises present life-like VR scenarios. Users can experience navigating through a space where they can identify everyday objects in ordinary settings through echolocation

Special Thanks to

Karen El Asmar, Thomas Tajo, Anita Zhao, Hugo Zhang, Yanzhe Wu, John Jones, Sharon Chen, Joseph Digerness, Harpreet Sareen, Kyle Li, Ran Zhou, Sharon Chen

Full Description on Project Website