Monday, September 22, 2008

Fingertip visual haptic sensor controller

University of Pittsburgh posted an invention that people can feel images at iBride. It is designed to help the blind or visually impaired. They say:

A small image sensor (such as a video camera or a laser range finder) and haptic stimulator (such as a vibrator) mounted on a fingertip provides tactile sensations given certain input to the image sensor. For example, an edge in the visual environment could cause vibration to be felt in the finger when it was pointed at that edge with the proper orientation. This could be used by a visually impaired person to sense doors, tables, etc. An extension of this concept to control could involve special targets that would be recognized by a computer vision system connected to the fingertip camera, such that when the finger was pointed at the target, the control signals could be issued by specific motions of the finger. For example, the target could be a computer screen containing a dot that could be moved by the finger tip, using a control feedback loop to keep the dot in the center of the camera image. Many variations on this basic concept are possible. By providing visual input and sensation to individual fingers, a new intuitive way of sensing and controling the environment will be possible.

The post does not nominate exact name of inventors. By Googling, I guess the invention came from Visualization and Image Analysis Laboratory. They are developing Fingersight TM technology that gives individual fingertips the ability to feel and control the visible environment. You can compare Fingersight with band-aid tactile display from Sungkyunkwan University.

iBride is a kind of IP research and market place platform such as SparkIP.

The iBridgeSM Network, a program of the non-profit Kauffman Innovation Network, Inc., provides the transparency and access to university developed innovations that will lead to further advances and next-generation products. The Network aggregates research materials, technologies, and discoveries in an online, easy-to-search forum—the iBridge Web Site. Innovations on the Web site range from biological cell lines to animal models to computer technologies. The range is vast and the possibilities are endless

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