Steve Hoefer and the devoted people at Grathio Labs have constructed a haptic device called the Tacit Glove that translates visual cues into tactile indications for the blind or seeing-impaired. In short, this glove is the upcoming replacement of the age-old walking cane and manages to include several new bells and whistles.
The Tacit Glove uses two sonar emitters that send out ultrasonic pulses which determine the relative distance between the wearer and nearby obstructions. That information is relayed back via motors that apply pressure to the hand, indicating the proximity of any object -- almost no training is required.
Charged by a 9-volt battery, the self-contained device would allow the seeing-impaired to deftly navigate tight corridors and aisles. Best of all, Steve Hoefer placed the Tacit Glove under a creative commons license, meaning that anyone can build themselves one!
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