Seeing with Sound
October 14, 2003 4:12 AM   Subscribe

Seeing with sound.
A researcher in the Netherlands has developed a system that converts pictures from a head-mounted camera into highly complex soundscapes, which are then piped to the user via headphones. After only a week of use, a woman who has been blind from birth can tell a CD from a floppy, and discern whether the lights are on or off. Not quite up to either a bat and/or Daredevil standards, but very cool nonetheless.
posted by Irontom (5 comments total)
[This Is Good.]
posted by spazzm at 4:25 AM on October 14, 2003

While it can't track fast cars or read small print efficiently, it does allow blind users to trace out buildings, read a graph and even watch television.

That's would be an interesting development, if the contraption could read out text it encounters in the environment.
posted by piskycritter at 5:27 AM on October 14, 2003

Very. Very. Cool. Obviously it's an idea in its infancy, and it won't be as simple as the top of the page makes it look, but this has a lot of promise. Ties into the whole synesthesia thing.
posted by soyjoy at 7:06 AM on October 14, 2003

combined with tech like this, featured in Wired last year...what amazing possibilities.

my grandfather spent the last 15 years of his life mostly blind....he was always pissed off that voice recognition on computers wasn't good enough yet, and that technology hadn't gone far enough to give him a "seeing eye gadget". He would have loved stuff like this.
posted by th3ph17 at 7:49 AM on October 14, 2003

The vOICe is great stuff - you can sonify the images on your PC desktop with it, so combined with a fractal rendering program like capow you get hours of ambient music fun.
I once incorporated a webcam + this program into a live show were people wrapped themselves in strings of chrismas lights and then made all kinds of weird contortions in front of a webcam, with the light patterns making different patterns of sound.
posted by twitch at 2:34 PM on October 14, 2003

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