Need: Assist the blind and improve their lives by facilitation of their mobility both indoors and on the streets and sidewalks. Improve the safety, confidence, and overall well being of the totally blind, by means of a panel worn in front of the waist and suspended by the belt and shoulder straps, extending forward, horizontally where the hands are placed on the top surface and feel the profile of their surroundings in 3D.
Innovation: Invention of a new combination of technologies to provide a means for the blind to feel with their hands the profile of the surrounding ground, or floor below in 3D and to also view in a 3D relief the view looking forward of their current position. The technology combines a well established 3D scanning technology with a new means of communication. This is accomplished by multiple rows of small closely spaced pins that raise and lower in proportion to the 3D scans, providing a 3D model on 2 screens, one looking down and one looking forward. The pins change elevation with the change in the floor or ground elevation and can be felt by the user with the fingers and understood to navigate with confidence. The current blind cane is a one pixel display so to speak, this system is hundreds of pins display.
The system also incorporates GPS, Voice Commands, GPS Audio Guidance, and a tactile compass that always points north. Several user options to identify current location, guide user home, guide user to any of 4 predefined locations, display map in tactile format, display alpha numeric characters, translate to brail, and show the camera gray scale view on the tactile display.
Manufacturability: The unit is a new combination of well known technologies and can be mass produced utilizing known electronics and electromechanical disciplines.
The unit will be combined with a safety helmet as well with vibrators on either side of the forehead to fore warn of objects in path of a head collision whether on left or right side.
The unit once learned by the user will be invaluable to them as it will allow them to move with confidence, even to the point of an experienced user being able to ride a Segway.
This is phase 1, there are other more advanced similar systems.
Have a heart for the blind, and vote for this new technology, let us bring it into the world!
Thank you for your time and your vote.