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Unfolding Space

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Unfolding Space

Product | Innovation | Smart

A wearable sensory substitution device for the visually impaired. Built into a glove, the product allows users to ‘see’ where they are walking by a map of vibrations.

This is achieved using adepth camera that generates a 3D picture of the wearer’s surrounding and 9 motors that haptically project the generated image onto the back of the user’s hand as a pattern of vibrations.

The idea behind it

The technology is based on a research by Jakob Kilian into sensory substitution: a phenomenon by which the function of one missing or dysfunctional sense is replaced – or substituted – by stimulating another.

Ideation

As an everyday companion in a visually impaired persons’ life, the design of the glove is kept subtle for it to suit different lifestyles. For a simple and intuitive interaction, known elements were used which guides the user in exploring the product. The thin, flexible and breathable fabric of the glove fits comfortably and allows full movement of the hand.

Smart & Innovative

With ‘unfolding space’, the wearer can interactively explore their surroundings with this new depth perception to locate and avoid obstacles and navigate themselves in unfamiliar environments. the location of a vibration conveys an object’s relative position in space, while the strength of the vibration represents its distance.

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