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Helping the blind to "see"

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posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 09:54 PM

Engineers Rolly Seth, Jatin Sharma and Tushar Chugh are Young India Fellows and are developing viSparsh under technical guidance of professor Rahul Mangharam of the University of Pennsylvania.

Whenever a user wearing viSparsh belt encounters an obstacle, the sensors find the distance and direction of the obstacle and provide vibratory feedback to the user.

For this, the team modified Microsoft's Kinect, a motion sensing input device for the Xbox 360 video game console, and mounted it on the belt.

The vibrations are produced only in the direction of the obstacle and the intensity of the vibration increases as the obstacle gets closer so that the user can identify the direction of obstacle and judge if the obstacle is near or far.


I just stumbled across this and I think it has to be one of the most innovative and useful things ever done with a Microsoft Kinect device. Now I realise the price of 150 eurodollars is probably way too expensive for the average Indian but I think it shows much promise and with enough continued research they can probably make it cheaper, possibly with other brands or even completely designing their own one from scratch. Kudos to all involved in this.

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