Now, intelligent fingertip ”eye” to help blind interact with their environment

January 17th, 2009 - 4:59 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Jan 17 (ANI): Ultrasound canes and voice-enabled GPS devices that help blind and partially sighted people in navigation may soon be history, for scientists have created a new intelligent fingertip ”eye”.

The device may change how such people interact with their environment.

George Stetten, a bioengineer at the University of Pittsburgh, has launched the idea of a tiny video camera that sits at the end of a finger and connects to a portable computer that can analyse the footage and flag up objects of interest.

In fact, the camera mounting also has the capability to vibrate for providing physical feedback from the computer to signal when it sees something significant.

Thus, the camera can warn when it spots a nearby obstacle, like a wall or the edge of a table.

In fact, it could even trace out the shape of the obstacle to guide the user past, reports New Scientist.

Via image processing, its possible for the system to recognise very specific objects.

According to Stetten’’s patent the computer even has the capability to recognise light switches or other controls from a distance.

Also, the user could be guided towards a switch using physical feedback, or given the option to activate it remotely.

Stetten said that the capabilities of such a system are limited only by imagination and has the potential to give blind and partially sighted people much greater control and interaction with the world around them.

And very soon, a portable system able to look for objects for could offer benefits to fully sighted people too. (ANI)

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