Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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seeing-eye jacket

jacket with a proximity-sensor grid, for blind people
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The IR jacket has two parts - an IR-based proximity sensor mounted on a pendant that hangs around your neck, providing a wide-angle depth image of your surroundings; and a grid of piezo-electric vibrator 'pixels' worn close to the skin.

Each 'pixel' then vibrates at a frequency inversely proportional to the proximity of an object to it (i.e. closest objects would cause the highest-frequency oscillation).

This effectively uses your whole torso surface as a 'retina'; over time, adaptation would allow a blind person to navigate through the world as well as a seeing person.

bumhat, Mar 05 2006

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       //inversely proportional// should read 'proportional'.   

       Nice idea. The touch resolution of the torso is rather low, but using the whole torso (as you say) would help.   

       Have you tried the experiment where you get someone to touch you in two places close together, and move the sites apart until you can feel the two seperate contacts? I was surprised at the difference between fingertips (mm) and back (cm).   

       Wouldn't a pendant jiggle around, and therefore provide confusing directional cues?
spidermother, Mar 06 2006
  
      
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