Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have been working on a new system to give the visually impaired extra environmental data. The system consists of a 3D depth-sensing camera and a computer worn around the user’s neck, a braille display near the waist, and a haptic vibration belt.
This system, albeit a prototype, can be used by itself or in conjunction with a traditional, and very reliable, white cane. It provides distance output via vibrations, as well as supplemental environmental data via the Braille pads.
For instance, “t” signifies a table, while “c” notes a chair. In order not to interfere with other senses, there is no audio interface, and the sensor belt is positioned on the abdomen, which showed less sensory interference than on other parts of the body.