Sunday, March 18, 2012

3D GPS for the Blind

discover promo

This may not really be relevant for most of you, but I thought it was really interesting.

The concept design for a device that turns street maps into 3D tactile maps has been released and the idea is quite impressive. Created by Jorge Trevino Blanco, the device is handheld and will scan the surrounding area and create a 3D pin impression of the area—kind of like that pin box you pushed your hand into when you were a kid. The concept, named Discover by Blanco, has several Braille buttons labeled “Discover,” “City,” “GPS,” “Read,” “Time,” and “Tag.”

According to this article on the device, it uses a camera to capture the topography and objects and then translates it to a miniature tactile version on the surface of the device. The device can translate objects like cars and benches or entire scenes. It is currently a work in progress, but you can check out the ideas and follow the project on Blanco’s site where he also has several other interesting concepts that are unrelated to GPS.

Discover example

Here is an example of how the device would work.



  1. So cool. But so useless.

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