Ford revealed a prototype technology, called Feel the View, that allows the blind passengers to “feel” what they can’t see outside a car’s window.
The automaker released a video this week showcasing the technology.
Here’s how it works: A camera attaches to the car’s window and takes photographs of the view outside. Those images are then reproduced as a grayscale rendering in the window glass using special LED lights. When touched, the different shades of gray vibrate at up to 255 different frequencies. By feeling the image, a visually impaired person can mentally recreate the view outside.
The concept also includes an artificially intelligent image recognition system that says aloud, what is outside the car through its built-in speakers. For instance, it’ll tell passengers when they’re passing a mountain, a forest or an open field.
Ford developed the technology in collaboration with Aedo, an Italian company specializing in technology to assist the visually impaired.
For now, the system is just a prototype, but the possible future applications for the technology — especially in a future age of autonomous vehicles — seems boundless. Automakers know they will have to work hard to enfranchise the visually impaired and something like Feel The View could help the blind gain increased spacial awareness regarding their destinations.
A Ford spokesman said the company has no plans to offer the device for sale.
Source: Ford Europe