Home > Psychology > Hearing images for blind people

Hearing images for blind people

There are different tools to help blind people orientate in the environment one of the latest is an Iphone application where the user uploads photos, asks a question about their content, e.g. which of the cans does contain sweet corn, and gets an answer by  a community of people. It is a nice idea but it strongly relates on the goodwill and time of other people. If urgent help is needed there must be other ways.

Research found some options to transfer visual information into acoustic. Quality and quantity of transferred data cannot be the same as the human perceives much more information through visual perception than through acoustic. However it can provide information about the position of objects, their distance and size.

A tool comes as glass. Over an integrated camera images of the environment are sent to a small computer-chip which transfers defined brightness values and contrasts into high and deep tones.  Such a device is developed e.g. at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and also at a University in Spain. The Spanish system seems to be reduced transferring the visual information to a series of clicks.

It might not give more information than echolocation, but it has the advantage that it is not immediately visible to others. Echolocation for humans is similar to that used by dolphins or bats. A click-sound is made and information of how it is reflected from the environment gives information about surrounding objects.  With the hearing glasses blinds can perceive the information unnoticed from others. A reason for some blind not using the echolocation is that it makes them different from other people and they find it embarrassing to make click-sounds for orientation. Plus, the glasses also work in 2D, e.g. photos or if text recognition is implemented also for viewing products in a store.

After about 70 hours training the software can be used. The brain learned to interpret specific acoustic information not as acoustic but as visual information and form images. It also works for natural born blind. Like the multidimensional acoustic impression of an orchestra sample it is imaginable to present foreground and background of the visual environment.

For more information:

http://www.new-scientist.de/inhalt/software-laesst-blinde-mithilfe-von-toenen-sehen-a-866915.html

http://www.opinno.com/an-acoustic-map-for-visually-impaired-people/

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  1. web designer sunshine coast
    January 7, 2013 at 22:51

    This is the only time I’ve been to your website. Thnx for providing more information.

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