New TouchScreen Tech Enables the Blind to See with Their Hands (video)
Researchers at Japan’s University of Electro-Communications have developed a new way for the visually disabled to feel what is on the screen in front of them. Dubbed Hamsa Touch, the prototype device converts images from a camera into a pattern of electrical impulses that can be felt on the palm of your hand.
The Hamsa Touch, which is detailed in the video below, is designed to be used with either a smartphone or larger screen. It incorporates a grid of 512 photo-sensors which are mapped to a similar grid of electrodes (think of them as mini-Tasers). This device is intended to be placed directly over a screen, and when a photo-sensor detects a shift in light it triggers the corresponding electrode.
The prototype, which was shown off in Toronto last week at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, is rather low in resolution, but if this were ever commercially released that would likely change.