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Team invents device to help visually impaired people “see” digital images

Shared by Ana Duarte on 2019-11-20 14:35

About the solution

The HaptImage technology works thanks to an algorithm that changes digital images into physical sensations that impersonate the would-be exterior of a portrayed object. The users hold a joystick that resembles an ink pen that makes vibrations and resistance in correspondence with the digital object’s shape and feel while users move the joystick around.
This system can help blind students in classes. “The technology helps students interact in real-time while in a classroom and creates ‘touch-based learning.’ That is critical for all students, but especially for students who are blind or have limited vision. Real-time access to images is crucial to allow social integration and education for individuals who are blind or with limited vision. The technology not only helps with social integration for students, but it also will help individuals with visual impairments pursue image-dependent careers, such as architecture, and access social media platforms, such as Instagram,” Shruthi Suresh explained.

The team also works with Brad Duerstock, a professor with the School of Industrial Engineering and the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, where these women are PhD students. He is also the CEO of HaptImage.

“We were inspired to develop the technology by Greg Williams, who is a research assistant in Dr Duerstock’s lab and who is visually impaired. He was having difficulties viewing images related to his chemistry major and we wanted to do something to make it easier for him and others like him who face this extra challenge,” Ting Zhang described.

Adapted from: https://bit.ly/2O3asH8

More info: http://haptimage.com/

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

Ting Zhang and Shruthi Suresh, who live in the USA, are the founders of HaptImage, a startup that develops assistive technology that helps people with visual impairments “see” digital images. They were inspired by a blind research assistant who works with them.

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