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New Radar Device Helps Blind People 'See' 73

Posted by kdawson
from the falling-scales dept.
greenrainbow writes "Students in Israel at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have developed new technology that allows blind people to 'see' objects around them through a simple radar system. The device consists of a computer, two video cameras, and a scanning light source; it audibly alerts the individual of objects that are in close proximity. The system scans surrounding objects and their distance from two points, much like the human eyes. Unlike current sensor canes, this new light scanning device is a hands-free system that can sense objects on the ground, overhead, and in the periphery."
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New Radar Device Helps Blind People 'See'

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 04, 2010 @11:57AM (#32459374)

    Wrong, the device is by definition able to 'see' but that perception is translated into auditory signals and the person using the device is able to hear, not see.

  • An alternative (Score:3, Informative)

    by BigBadBus (653823) on Friday June 04, 2010 @12:07PM (#32459498) Homepage
    There is a man who teaches other blind and partially sighted to "see" objects using echo location. He clicks his tongue and waits for the response. I know, it does sound unlikely, but he is extremely good and was featured on one of UK magician's Derren Brown's "The Events" shows last August or September.
  • Re:Traffic signals (Score:2, Informative)

    by tao (10867) on Friday June 04, 2010 @01:01PM (#32460132) Homepage
    At least in Sweden and Finland (probably a lot of other countries too) the traffic signals already emit audio signals for red and green (and also "soon to turn red").
  • by RobVB (1566105) on Friday June 04, 2010 @01:03PM (#32460152)

    the inaccurate use of the word radar [wikipedia.org], meaning electromagnetic waves, not the two video cameras this system is using.

    What makes you say cameras don't work on electromagnetic waves? After all, visible light consists of electromagnetic waves. Yes, most commercial radar systems use microwaves instead of visible light, but that's not a requirement for something to be called radar.

    And also,

    not sight

    I disagree. The system measures light. The fact that it uses the ear to inform the person of what it sees is irrelevant. It can see stars, rainbows and things coming at you faster than the speed of sound. You can't hear rainbows, or can you?

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