EYE 21 system lets the blind 'see' by assigning sounds to shapes
Engineers from the Research Center for Graphic Technologies at Spain's Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) have created an experimental system, that allows the blind to be aware of their surroundings through the use of sound. Called EYE 21, it consists of a pair of sunglasses with two built-in micro video cameras, a computer, and a pair of headphones. It's similar to sonar systems that have been used to achieve the same goal.
The two cameras are able to analyze the space in front of them, creating a three-dimensional model of it. Sounds are assigned to the various surfaces in that space, and are played back through the headphones. By listening to this mosaic of sounds, blind users are reportedly able to "hear space," with their brains turning the sounds into shapes.
A somewhat similar approach is used in Virginia Tech's AirPix system, that creates a tactile representation of a blind driver's surroundings, which they can feel by holding their hand over a matrix of small holes that are blowing pressurized air.
There are presently four EYE 21 prototypes, with ten more set for testing. The UPV technology was developed as part of the Cognitive Aid System for Blind People (CASBLiP) project.
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Best regards, Peter Meijer
Seeing with Sound - The vOICe http://www.seeingwithsound.com
I would like to explain the difference from my point of view:
As far as I know your system, EYE21is working on a different way. VOICE system is an excellent system to represent Images with a real good quality from the point of view of a blind, and EYE2021 works analyzing the environment and giving back a 3D acoustic representation of the space in 25 frames/secong of objects closer than 10 meters. So VOICE makes images representation, and EYE21 makes shapes representations, wht is really different. EYE2021 is like giving a similar sense than the dolphing has to a blind.
EYE2021: the first units have been deliver recently and the use of the system by blind people from birth are giving better results than expected.
Please correct me if I am wrong on the description of your device.
Although we lack convenient and affordable stereo camera glasses (I love the beautiful design of your stereo camera glasses!), The vOICe software is prepared to process stereo camera input, either to analyze the view and sound a depth map (e.g. up to 10 meters depending on the stereo camera), or alternatively sound the left camera view to the left ear and the right camera view to the right ear, as described at http://www.seeingwithsound.com/binocular.htm
However, EYE21\'s 25 fps give more immediate feedback, whereas The vOICe can sound images up to for instance 8 fps but then only at the expense of a severe degradation in effective resolution. So it will be interesting to learn how EYE21 handles a number of real-life situations. The two systems might even prove complementary. I hope you will put some demo sounds and corresponding 3D images online such that readers get an impression of how EYE21 sounds with some basic representative views? Looking forward to learning more about your system.