Ford has developed a Braille-like device for car windows that allows blind people to experience the view through a car window. This smart window, captures the images to translate them into vibrations in a vehicle’s side glass.
The concept, was designed in Italy by the collaboration of the car brand, the agency GTB Roma and the startup Aedo, specialized in developing products for the visually impaired. It consists in a built-in camera, that photographs the view beyond it by pushing a button. It then converts the image of the view into a grayscale image, reproduced through small LEDs embedded in the glass who provide haptic feedback, vibrating at different intensities corresponding to different shades of grey.
Those various shades of gray are then translated into vibrations of varying intensity that can be felt by a person’s finger on the window itself. The whiter the color under your fingertips, the greater the intensity of vibration. The system generates up to 255 different levels of vibration through the window.
The novel device also informs the passengers about the landscape they are looking at. This is possible thanks to a vocal assistant associated to the vehicle’s audio system, that uses a connected AI system, helping to contextualize the image for blind or partially sighted passengers. Still a prototype, the system seems boundless, especially in a future age of autonomous vehicles. It could improve significantly the visually impaired lives, increasing spacial awareness regarding their destinations.