the Third Eye | ChoongHyo Lee, Jerry Wei-Hua Yao, Seong Ho Yun, Xi Yao Wang
The Third Eye is a navigation glasses for visually impaired people, helping them to understand the environment where they are at. The goal of the glasses is to provide a better walking experience for blind people and make them understand the space through different vibration patterns.
The most common aiding tool for visually impaired people nowadays is the walking cane. Although the canes do solve a lot of problems for blind people while they’re walking, there are still certain aspects which remain unsolved. For example, the blind people can only detect the objects within the moving range of their canes (a small sector area). And also they need to actually touch the obstacles in order to know what objects are they dealing with, or where the obstacles are.
Therefore, most of the time blind people are just avoiding obstacles on the street. They didn’t really know what is around them until they touch it with their canes. That is why we wanted to build a device which can work WITH the cane, solving the problems that the cane have and doing the things that the cane cannot do. By wearing the Third Eye, it enables the users to have the a basic understanding and the sense of environment just like we do.
Design Decisions, Constraints
We started this project trying to replace the cane by different types of wearable devices. However, after realizing that the cane does not only work as an aiding tool for blind people, it also makes them feel more secure and safer while using it. We decided to put more effort on helping the blind people to understand the environment without touching the objects. And we came up with the idea of vibration patterns.
- Default Mode: while the glasses is not detecting any obstacles within 5 meters (16 feet). The vibration pattern goes from back to front, signaling that the user could move forward. The idea here is imagine an invisible person who is pulling you and guiding you forward.
- Obstacle detected: When the glasses detect the obstacles in front of the users, the vibration patterns activate from front to the back. It makes the users feel as if someone is dragging them from behind, signaling them to move backwards and avoid the obstacles. As the user gets closer to the obstacle, the frequency and intensity of the vibration increases as well to warn them.
- Multi sensing/3d scanning: The two ultrasonic sensors on the glasses could work separately, allowing users to scan the environment and have a basic understanding of how the structure and environment could be like.
Implementation (and links to code/related materials)
Final Experience, Lessons Learned
- Research about the best location for the vibration motors (the most sensitive spot on the face)
- The vibration somewhat affect/interfere the users hearing experience.
- Think of more interaction between the glasses and the canes.