Researchers from MIT have developed a wearable system that uses a 3D camera, belt with separately controllable vibrational motors distributed around it, and an electronically reconfigurable Braille interface to help those who are visually impaired navigate their surroundings.
The navigation system can reportedly be used with or as an alternative to a white cane. The system reportedly uses an algorithm that can quickly identify surfaces and their orientation from the 3D camera data. The vibrational motors on the belt can vary the frequency, intensity and duration of their vibrations — as well as the intervals between them — to send different types of tactile signals to the user. And the Braille interface reportedly provides symbols that describe objects in the user's environment, and the position of the symbol indicates the direction in which it can be found.
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