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The blind person wears a binocular set of camera that
translate the information into a 3d braille picture, sort
those pin screens.
Thousands of braille bumps are little dull pins actuated
solenoids, pushing against the skin to varying degrees
necessary to impart the feeling
of a picture to the
back. The back is chosen because it offers the greatest
most flattened area, it's out of the person's way and
flex as much as the front does when the person sits
Another way to do this this might be by having an array
of thousands of tiny electro-stimulators that would just
give you varying levels of tingle.
Design has been updated: The glove is worn on the hand
featuring little pokey bits on the palm, either mechanical
or electrically stimulating, and a camera lens is in the
middle of the palm. The wearer holds the palm towards
what they want to "see" and are given a 3d braille
representation of the scene that actually moves as you
move your hand around, like you're feeling a braille
picture. See illustration.
Check out the last link. [2 fries shy of a happy meal, May 03 2015]
Real Time Tactile Scene Creating Glove Cam
I really like this idea. [doctorremulac3, May 04 2015]
Aim the glove at a car, this impression presses against your hand. [doctorremulac3, May 05 2015]
Here we go again.
They do vibrations as opposed to my moving braille pins but same idea basically. [doctorremulac3, Nov 27 2015]
|Maybe, but I was thinking the biggest area would give the
best resolution and the back would be the most out of
way. Also this would need to work for blind women as
so breasts might pose a problem.
|I'm wondering how/if the brain would paint pictures in
the mind's eye at some point. I know the brain has an
amazing ability to adapt and sort of re-wire itself as
necessary. Like, would you just picture an apple in a dish
without having to think about it?
|I remember a friend of mine who speaks a bunch of
different languages telling me he was listening to a
Spanish radio station and it wasn't until they started
playing the music that he even realized they were
speaking Spanish. He was just registering the message for
few moments without being cognizant of how the
was getting to his brain. So I wonder if at some point
you'd get so proficient at deciphering these moving lumps
on you're back that you'd actually "see" them.
|But to the front vs back thing again, maybe you could
have a 360 degree "touch suit" with a 360 degree camera
setup on your glasses that would allow you to "see" in all
directions simultaneously. Then you might have
something that would augment sighted people's
awareness of their surroundings as well, perhaps for law
enforcement or the military. Somebody sneaking up on
you could be felt as a growing "poke in the back".
|Whoa! Somebody did the stimulator thing? Don't know
whether to be angry I thought of it last, proud that I
thought of it too or uncomfortable that I thought of it
and wouldn't have done anything with it like the
person who thought of it first did. Think I'll go with
|Cool concept. (Both your idea and the similar
implementation) Hmm, the tongue version is nice
since you can put it on easily and one size easily
fits all. It seems like a back mounted version
would be less noticeable by other people, and
could work while the user is talking.
|Regarding sensitivity and resolution, how much of
the back's insensitivity is due to disuse vs. having
fewer nerve endings? Maybe if you were paying
attention to the skin on your back and there was
actually something interesting to feel back there,
after a few days or weeks the sensitivity and/or
resolution might improve.
|Wonder if it would tickle. You could tickle somebody
to death just by dancing like an idiot in front of
|//how much of the back's insensitivity is due to
disuse vs. having fewer nerve endings? //
|If you Google "sensory homunculus", you'll find images
of the human body scaled according to the area of
brain cortex that "senses" them. The trunk in general
is very under-represented in the sensory cortex.
|In terms of density of nerve endings (which is slightly
different from cortical representation), the standard
test is to touch the body with two points (like the
points on a pair of compasses), and see how far apart
they have to be before the person can distinguish two
points from one point. The distance on the back is a
lot bigger than the distance on the hand.
|On the other hand, the brain (and perhaps the
peripheral nervous system) is quite plastic, so
someone wearing a device like this might develop
greater sensitivity in their back.
|Wow, that's pretty cool. There's a way to actually test
resolution of touch.
|You could have the pokey bits on gloves I suppose.
There are other sensitive areas of the body but,
well... yea. Gloves would work.
|How about this: Put a lens on the glove's palm that
would transfer the picture to the palm allowing you
to move it like you're feeling a braille picture?
|Hey, I like that. I REALLY like that.
|It would work. You'd move the glove around "looking"
at various things. "That's obviously a car, there's a dog
walking over there. Tree, tree, tr.. no, telephone
pole. Turn around, how tall is that building? Two, no,
three stories. Ohh! There's a bird that just flew by!
Ok, walking now. Feeling the sidewalk, oops! Mailbox
coming. Pedestrian, ok, there's the curb. Cars
stopped at the light. Luckily I have the red
light/green light sensor option. Ok, crossing now,
better "look both ways" whoa, that guy coming down
the street is closing fast, better wait till he passes.
I'm blind after all, people can't be expected to stop
for blind people. Ok, the fast jerk's passed. No cars
coming either way, safe to go now. On my way to the
store to do some shopping. My glove also has the
feature that reads packages with the camera and
relays the words to my earpiece. Glad I got the high
|I've wanted to do a Kickstarter campaign all my life. I
think this is it. Something that could free blind
people to do many of the same things sighted people
do. Take a walk, marvel at the height of a building,
count the trees in the park, reach up and feel the
shape of a cloud, touch the moon and the stars in the
sky, experience the visual beauty of the world around
us that most of us take for granted every day.
|Getting a feel for the city.
|Orientation of the hands could allow for feel of the upcoming path surfaces and potholes as well. (+)
|Wow, thanks LimpNotes, there's a whole science
this stuff. The only thing missing is the last piece.
The "virtual 3d real time relief model of the world
|I really, really want to do this.
|Good point. If sighted people started buying these for
that purpose you might have a bit of a PR problem.
|Wow, that went from humanitarian invention to
tool pretty quick.
|The glove concept sounds like it could be very
useful for "looking" at details. But if you have to
move the glove around to see things, it's like
looking at the world through a paper towel tube.
|That can be fixed with a hybrid system. A back
mounted system could provide peripheral "vision",
tuned to be especially sensitive to motion. The
glove could be used to focus in a specific
direction. Since the resolution won't be that
great, a zoom feature for the glove cameras would
probably be very helpful. That would need some
careful design to make it convenient to operate
and to provide feedback on the zoom setting so
the user can more easily estimate the
size/distance of the objects being examined.
|[scad mientist], don't think of it as looking through a tube; it's more like running your hand over the world, to "feel" what it looks like. And it would depend on the field of view of the glovecam, which could easily be adjustable on-the-go (wide-angle for walking and general stuff, "zoomed in" for details).
I wonder what kind of resolution a palm is capable of working with effectively? Would it be 30x30, or 1000x1000? To the lab! Experiments must be done!
|//To the lab! Experiments must be done!//
|Aaaaaand idea stolen. See link.
|My finalized design with the glove is really the way to go
though. The idea that a blind person could sweep their hand
"pano" style across their view and sense what's around
them, including people and vehicles around them, the moon
and stars in the sky, even aircraft flying overhead, all in a
simple to wear glove is really the way to go.
|Adding an alternative and possible improvement to this. The
camera and pin matrix
might also be put on the back of the hand so the person isn't
hampered in holding stuff. They just aim the back of their
hand at what they want to "see" and when they're done,
resume using that hand as they normally would.
|//I wonder what kind of resolution a palm is
capable of working with effectively? Would it be
30x30, or 1000x1000?//
|The spatial resolution of the palm is something like
5-15mm, giving you maybe a 10x10 (possibly
|Take two pens or pencils, hold them so the points
are 5mm apart. Close your eyes and touch them
to your palm. They'll feel no different than when
you use just one pen. Better yet, get someone
else to do it to you. When they're about 1-1.5cm
apart, you can certainly tell one from two.
|On the fingertips, the resolution is something like
a couple of millimetres. (NOTE: you can, of
course, feel a grain of sand on your fingertip even
if it's a half a millimetre in size; but that is not the
same as resolution.)
|Guess the test would be pretty simple to do.
|Get some pictures that are 3d relief renderings of various
close your eyes and see if you can tell what's going on.
|Actually reminds me of an exhibit I saw at some science
museum where you reach into a box and feel various
things and try to figure out what they are. Took a little
|I'm thinking that one thing this would be good at was
sensing motion, for instance while crossing the street. If
you sense a big roundish thing crossing your palm very
quickly you can bet it's probably a car.
|Thinking you could add proximity function with anything
from a light electrical tingle to vibration or pressure. This
you to walk around hallways, open doors, etc. Basically
like a virtual cane.
|//Guess the test would be pretty simple to do.//
|I don't think a quick test would be fair. For this to
work, the brain would have to re-map tactile
inputs to the visual cortex, just deaf people re-
map audio inputs to their visual cortex. That
would take a while.
|Put it another way - someone who has never used
braille will be almost incapable of telling a cell of
three dots from a cell of two or four dots. It takes
|Incidentally, braille standards generally involve a
dot-spacing of about 2.5mm, which suggests that
that is the best resolution routinely available from
|(To be clear - I think this is a good idea, but you'd
want to use a high-res part of the body.)
|Well, I don't see any technical impediments to this so the
question would be if, with that resolution, the
you get from a few dots on your fingers would be useful
enough to create an image in the mind's eye.
|THAT part should be pretty easy to test.
|//you'd want to use a high-res part of the body//
|There's a dirty joke in there someplace.
|Another thought, not necessarily a good one, you could
have little servos in the fingers that would "shape" your
hand like you were touching the object the camera was
looking at. (Or cameras I should say since it's 3d)
|So if you're looking at a ball, the glove would form your
hand into a ball shape. Hmm.
|//THAT part should be pretty easy to test. //
|No, really, that's what I'm saying - it wouldn't be.
You'd get some sort of impression, but you'd be
analysing it with the tactile parts of your brain
instead of the visual parts. Give your brain time to
rewire, and the results would be unimaginably
|I'm thinking that for this to be really useful, it would have
to be something that didn't take THAT much time to learn
|I'm imagining walking down a hallway and a line crosses
your hand from right to left, a right turn in the hallway. A
horizontal line moves from the tip of your fingers to the
palm as you walk: you're approaching a curb. You make
out a mass in front of you, it's a person, the mass gets
smaller, the person is walking away.
|You're right, it wouldn't be easy to test, but easier than
making this thing work once the concept is proven.
|Somebody needs to attach a camera to a pin screen and
see what happens. I wonder if this would be a good crowd
funding project. Can you get research crowd funded?
That is, research that might not yield any success? I think
the camera and pin matrix actuator should be... $10,000?
Once proof of concept is established it's just a matter of
miniaturizing the system.
|Ok, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to get a pin
screen and have somebody take objects and push them
into the other side, see if I can tell what it is.
|There you go. Proof of concept test for about twenty
bucks plus $5 shipping and handling.