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Reality Description Service

A service for the blind like the description service for television...except it's for everything
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A blind person could wear a tiny camera on his forehead and an audio receiver in her ear. The descripter would describe what is within range of the camera.
StreetLight, Jun 05 2001

(??) Echomatic http://www.wdv.com/...ic/description.html
Use preset amplified tones produced by everyday words to reflect at a predetermined interval as an amplified echo. [reensure, Jun 05 2001]

Human Computation http://video.google...8246463980976635143
Luis Von Ahn [JesusHChrist, Oct 27 2007]

ESP Game http://www.espgame.org/cgi-bin/login
Labeling for Blind [JesusHChrist, Oct 27 2007]

visual description service http://main.wgbh.or...rvices/description/
[JesusHChrist, Dec 29 2009]

realtime video from smart phones www.qik.com
[JesusHChrist, Dec 29 2009]

microvolunteering www.extraordinares.org
[JesusHChrist, Dec 29 2009]

There's an app for that http://blogs.discov...beats+%2880beats%29
[theircompetitor, May 14 2011]

[link]






       So how does it work?
snarfyguy, Jun 05 2001
  

       And will it exist for other senses? Like sixth sense?
snarfyguy, Jun 05 2001
  

       No, no, I think you guys misunderstood. This is a service. A real person, in shifts, monitors the signal from the device at a central location and broadcasts to the receiver a verbal description of the blind individual's surroundings. Right, StreetLight?
globaltourniquet, Jun 05 2001
  

       Check, gt. Questions from my second annotation stand...
snarfyguy, Jun 05 2001
  

       What a great idea. You wouldn't have to have it on at all times; only when you're lost, or you really have to read/identify something, or your normal routine of travel is interrupted -- stuff like that. It could be done by volunteers, who'd be specially trained to be accurate and impartial and describe things in ways useful to blind people. (Counterexample: "it's right over there.")   

       (NB, I've tried the library of congress reference desk, and they balked at giving me even a guess for the total weight of all paperbacks sold in the US for a year. Pah.)
jutta, Jun 05 2001
  

       And completely bakable too. We have a winner here. Why isn't this already available? Or is it?
globaltourniquet, Jun 05 2001
  

       Yes, but thus jutta's comment: folks doing it would be highly trained not to offend the blind's sensibilities: "Go toward the yellow one." or "Look at that guy's nose!" or "Frank, you don't want to know what I'm seeing..."
globaltourniquet, Jun 05 2001
  

       I don't believe that the visually impaired are actually using 'more' of their brain than normal folks, so the emotionally leaner portions of their brain should not be overloaded with sensory data. We need an appropriate interface, to an ear in this case. For well being to be improved, certain data would have to be processed and stored at what resemble subconscious and unconscious domains...a precognitive area. This would allow focus and reduce distraction for the wearer.   

       The point is, I believe, to extend visual perception in the blind to a special sense other than one's tactile sense. There are some interesting studies that demonstrate that hearing of taps by some blind cane users approaches bat radar in identification of environmental obstacles.
reensure, Jun 05 2001
  

       Yeah, I knew a blind guy in High School who clicked his tongue to walk, using echolocation. He moved amazingly swiftly. But how does that run counter to this proposal? With this seeing-eye service, the service person would read pamphlets to the user, identify silent danger, help find the way when lost, etc.
globaltourniquet, Jun 05 2001
  

       Not countered in the least. I think the improvement in quality of life offered by the ability to say a word and look in the direction of an echo is nearly comparable to thinking a word to oneself and scanning the environment for a fit to the description. Ugly folks and out-of-control brat cyclists might for the time being be left in the realm of the subliminal.
reensure, Jun 05 2001
  

       OK either I'm nuts or I'm attempting to communicate with nuts.   

       What?   

       What does the preceeding have to do with a person describing your visual environment for you? This device, as described, would be tantamount to having a buddy with you everywhere you go, describing the surroundings to you. But it would be more personal and private. If you are saying that certain things, for the sake of the blind's quality of life, ought to be left out, I think that is sort of what we were saying regarding the service person's training. Certainly the blind can't sit there waiting for the entire environment to be described. It isn't a replacement for what they already use for sensory perception -- just a descriptive overlay.
globaltourniquet, Jun 05 2001
  

       This seems like a natural for volunteer organizations. Or imagine this: a virtually housebound quadriplegic helping a blind person walk around the city.
Dog Ed, Jun 06 2001
  

       Yes globaltourniquet, this would be a service, manned by real people. The user could login and a currently available descripter would begin to, unobtrusively, describe the view. If you ever get a chance to hear the TV service don't pass it up - it's facinating...I believe it takes a special talent to do it well. And yes, it would have to be specialized to the needs of the blind...mostly very general, but quite to the point where needed..."The man in front of you seems to be pointing a gun at you" or "Directly ahead is a great deal of fire and smoke" (I'm pretty sure I would not make a good descripter).
StreetLight, Jun 06 2001
  

       Although I think that this would be a fun job to do, and might be good training for budding novelists, I foresee resistance from blind-empowerment pressure groups. Don't think so? Look at the controversy over cochlea implants for the deaf.
gravelpit, Jun 06 2001
  

       "You're approaching the house. Suddenly a cat crosses your path. May be it's a bad omen. It's starting to rain and as you reach the door I can see that it's open. May be those guys back at the office are playing a practical joke? Still you pull your Smith & Wesson from under your arm and push the door...you see in front of you....yes - it's your very own Film Noir Life!
goff, Jun 06 2001
  

       globaltourniquet: Ooops! I see, this idea describes a monitoring service (like Man Down™) that allows a person to ask for input that would have to be provided by sight, or by anticipation of sight as in "where does this sidewalk lead me?" Bakable.   

       My take on this is a descriptive keyword location seeking bot. It may require an uplink to a large central processor to keep the size of the unit to wearable dimensions, but it would work like this:
Wearer navigating a crowd, parking garage, or very large hall asks "Where am I?" Audio input replys:
"Area 150'x25'Lx30'R. Corner 1 o'clock 125'. Two objects moving peripherally. Door 90%. Two adults 75%"
Wearer then adjusts inquiry, "Choose adults" Service provides location and distance data.
  

       Maybe if this had a flashing light to activate someone in the area would choose to offer assistance?
reensure, Jun 06 2001
  

       <OldSchool> "You're in a maze of twisty tunnels, all alike." </OldSchool>
phoenix, Aug 23 2001
  

       Conversely, for those of benfrosts ilk - the blind person might be directed to the vicinity of a 'hottie' of the blind individuals sexual preference. 'Oops'
(Un)related Question: would there be wagering?
thumbwax, Aug 23 2001
  

       [UnaBubba] Should I stop looking for a subtle polical slam in your "blind man looking for the White House" remark?
Bamboo, Apr 06 2004
  

       Send this to Luis Von Ahn (link)
JesusHChrist, Oct 27 2007
  

       So when is someone going to do this? The services are out there: qik.com for real time smart phone video, theextraordinaries.org for microvolunteering, wgbh.org for visual description
JesusHChrist, Dec 29 2009
  

       So would this have various adjustments and variations for street slang and other variations of dialects?
Jscotty, Dec 29 2009
  

       The idea of a HalfBakery-originated plan to describe reality to a blind person seems wrong, somehow...
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 29 2009
  

       sight=reality. With that kink of attitude I'm SURE the bind people will flock to your door.
WcW, Dec 29 2009
  
      
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