Many engineers and designers have developed different kinds of devices to help visually impaired individuals. However they all hadn't had success in a single yet essential point.
In order to make blind people understand all information around them, first you need to find a way to fast communicate with them. All kinds of solutions have been proposed: sound warning, vibrations and even different textures on the object's surface, which can be very useful in a low noise and motion environment. But why haven't anyone considered the possibility of a blind person walking on a big avenue, full of other people, cars, horns and engine sounds? How could you feel the vibration of an object, its texture or hear its sounds?
My concept lies on the simplest solution anyone may think of. What do ordinary blind people use to move under these conditions? A guide dog. Even considering that guide dogs are allowed by law in any public places, sometimes you may pass through several constraints, thanks to other people's ignorance and disregard. Besides that a dog requires some constant cares and needs, and they are not available 24h per day.
Following this line of reasoning, I came up with a simple solution for all that variables. It is a product composed by 3 devices: a belt, a glove and a battery. The belt consists in several electromagnets disposed through its extent. Each one is connected independently to a radar sensor that instantaneously maps the environment, processes the information and sends it separately to each magnet.
The electromagnets produce a slight yet sufficient magnetic field on the small metal plates located inside the glove’s surface, creating and 3D effect force that pulls or pushes the hand into a number of directions. You will feel like you are holding a guide dog, although without its disadvantages.
You may even think about adding it some GPS features, including your favorite locations, helping choosing the best route, avoiding as many dangerous places as possible. I dream of this product commercialized on a large scale, decreasing its cost and enabling a person to go to a store and wear the belt immediately after leaving it.
These illustrations are just some simple 2D sketches in order to better visualize the concept ideas.