Ford Builds Feel The View Smart Window For Blind Passengers

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Ford has built a smart window called Feel The View for blind passengers which allows them to experience what landscapes look like through the sense of touch. The smart window technology captures images of landscapes and then will use special LEDs to transform those images into monochrome images, which can then be reproduced onto the window glass and translated into vibrations that the passenger can feel. Every shade of gray is translated into a vibration (within a range of 255 levels) and these are accompanied by an auditory explanation to give the passenger a description of the surrounding landscape that can be joined with what they're feeling, thus giving them a more complete picture of everything.

This new technology is a prototype so it's not something that is commercially available yet but could end up in future Ford smart cars. It was developed by Ford's Italy team and GTB Roma along with a startup called Aedo that focuses primarily on products for the visually impaired. Feel The View is not always scanning the landscape at any given time, rather, the passenger can tap a small tactile button on the device that will tell it to take a picture when desired, then the device will start the process to convert the picture into the monochrome image that can be felt through the vibrations described above.

This allows the passenger to be in control of when they want to feel what the landscape is like and be prepared for the image translation. Because the image is gray scale (monochrome) and the vibrations react to the level of gray of each part of the landscape in the image, the vibrations can shift in intensity and make it possible to experience, in a sense, the different colors of the landscape that are in view. At the moment there is no mention of an associate cost with the product or a release date, or whether it will be something that is built into future Ford vehicles as an optional upgrade or if it'll have to be purchased separately.

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Justin has written for Android Headlines since 2012 and currently adopts a Editor role with a specific focus on mobile gaming and game-streaming services. Prior to the move to Android Headlines Justin spent almost eight years working directly within the wireless industry. Contact him at [email protected]

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