We developed a unique device that turns car windows into a tactile screen for the blind. The device transforms the landscape into vibrations transmitted on the car windows, allowing the visually impaired to ‘see’ the view through their fingertips.
“Life is out there. Are you?” is the positioning of the New Ford EcoSport. In order to convey this message, we launched a number of projects to invite people to enjoy car trips. With Feel the View we wanted to give the chance to enjoy the beauty of travelling also to the blind, that so far see car trips as a dull experience: they can’t realize where the car is driving through and have no way to experience the landscape outside.
An estimated 285 million people in the world are visually impaired; this includes legally blind and visually limited persons.
Even in our tech-era, these people are still deprived from enjoying the beauty of car trips.
Feel the View starts a new era of innovative technologies allowing the blind to get to know the world out there.
We teamed up with Aedo, a digital engineering studio specialized in visually impaired projects, and Views International, a charity for blind and visually impaired. Together we studied how blind people discover the world around them through two senses: touch and earing.
We then developed an innovative language that allows the blind to experience the surroundings not via description, as the braille, but through a real representation of reality. A representation that the blind can experience by touching up to 255 levels of vibrations. Plus, the different sounds of the vibrations helps the blind to recognize a shape from another.
The device, resembling the shape of an eye, is specifically designed to be used by the blind in an easy way, and entirely autonomously. The visually impaired person takes a picture of the view through an easy to reach button. The picture is then converted into a grey scale image. Every shade of grey is translated into a vibration of different intensity on the car window, allowing the blind to visualize the landscape. The brighter the area, the higher the vibration. In doing this we turn a simple car window into an innovative haptic screen, which works as a brand-new media.
Moreover, an AI recognizes the elements of the picture associating a vocal description of every item of the landscaped while is being touched by the blind. All the process happens instantaneously.