Ford prototypes smart window that lets blind passengers "feel the view"
Taking in stunning views on a road trip can make the hours of travel well worth the effort. But if you're a blind or partially sighted passenger, such joys are not available to you. Ford Italia is hoping to change that with a prototype window gadget that allows blind passengers to experience views from a car window using touch.
The Feel The View prototype is positioned above a passenger window and when a blind traveler pushes a textured button in its center, a camera snaps a shot of the scenery. Ford says that the captured frame is then transformed into a high contrast monochrome image that's reproduced on the glass using LEDs.
The blind passenger can then get a feel for the image by dragging a finger or fingers across the window, where different shades of gray vibrate at different intensities – 255 in all. This way, the landscape beyond the glass can be imagined in the passenger's mind.
Unfortunately, beyond the video below and the few scant details given here, Ford Italia isn't giving anything away about how the system actually works. It's been developed in collaboration with GTB Roma and Aedo, a company specializing in aid systems for the blind and there's no indication that it will move into production.
Source: Ford Italia