Scientists Give Blind People The (Electronic) Finger

12.29.10 8 years ago

Wouldn’t it be great if visually impaired people (that is to say, people who are blind as a bat) could easily get all the information that’s right around them on smartphones or tacked to the wall in the form of badly copied concert flyers?

Well, that’s the idea behind a new concept invention, The Thimble, which was thought up by University of Washington students Erik Hedberg and Zack Bennet.

The thimble works as a multi-media info terminal embedded in a finger glove. It has a braille display at the end of it, so the blind person can get a wide variety of information from three different sources:

  • a location indicator that could give the wearer instant information about their location.
  • a bluetooth enabled connection to a smartphone would let the wearer connect to the internet
  • the end of the finger has an optical scanner which would allow the wearer to read written material around them.

It’s tempting to say that the Thimble puts all this info at their fingertips…but Gamma Squad’s too classy for that type of pun. Now, this is just a concept from two University students, so don’t expect them to be on shelves anytime soon…or ever. But still, you gotta admit, it’s an amazingly smart, yet simple idea.

Watch a demo of how The Thimble would work after the jump!

[Fashioning Tech via Dvice]

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