Apple Car Abandoned & The Story Of Zach Tidwell

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Content Warning: This episode discusses suicide and trauma.

In this episode of Double Tap, hosts Steven Scott and Shaun Preece dive into a range of topics, but the highlight is an in-depth and candid interview with Zach Tidwell, an app developer who is blind with an extraordinary backstory.

The duo starts by discussing the rumour mill churning around Apple’s supposed car project, which has been shelved in favour of machine learning and AI development. They debate the implications of this pivot, considering Apple’s secretive nature, and ponder the future of technology interfaces, accessibility, and the potential for an Apple car as a tech-driven experience rather than a traditional vehicle.

The conversation shifts to the core of the episode: Zach Tidwell’s journey. Zach, a former Marine, shares his harrowing experience of attempting suicide, leading to his blindness and deafness in one ear. He talks about his struggles with depression, alcohol, and the life-altering aftermath of his suicide attempt. Zach’s story is powerful as he describes the process of recovery, learning to live as a blind individual, and finding a new purpose through app development.
Zach’s app, Xanagrams, which won an award from Apple Viz, is a word puzzle game designed to be fully accessible to people with disabilities, including those who are blind, have auditory impairments, or have motor impairments. Steven and Zach delve into the technical aspects of coding as a blind person, the resources Zach utilized, and his aspirations for his company to contribute positively to the tech world and the blind community.

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