The "White Glove Seeing Eye Phone": Use multiple proximity (ultra-sound and optical) sensors and high end imaging processing, to detect traffic, lights, obstacles, people, and gestures, so that a Visually Impaired (VI) person can get around safely. GPS features to allow the VI to navigate, as well as report where they are when they need help. It's an emergency call device that helps a person to retrace their steps! It requires large, tactile type buttons, and/or a glove of sensors with accelerometers, to detect user gestures and combinations/sequences of touch. Voice commands would be very useful and are available in many devices. Wireless so the main CPU does not need to be waved around by the user. The paradigm "Hands full" of sensors replaces "hands free". A finger mic. (or two) enhances hearing wherever one points and allows for triangulation. Accelerometers read sign language. Pressure points act as keyboards. -- can be an asset for the seeing as well. Finger tips would be exposed to retain touch. The Kybrd contacts points, live on the back of the glove ( Yes this will be back handed). Finger Accelerometer spikes may also be used to read in key “clicks”. This with "blue tooth" and a smart enough smart phone could do the trick....
Once the "white glove" has the above attributes, it can be extrapolated in to being a speech synthesizer for the mute!
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Note: This design is always open to further suggestions and criticism.