Ford has created a smart window that describes views for blind passengers

Rosalie Gross
May 3, 2018

Ford has developed a prototype smart auto window that uses vibrations to "illustrate" the view to blind passengers.

Ford Motor Co.'s investing big in mobility ventures, but it's latest "mobility" innovation named "Feel The View" may be among its most impressive.

Ford has unveiled a new prototype system that enables the visually impaired to experience some tactile representation of the surroundings outside the vehicle they are riding in.

Feel The View was conceived and developed by Ford's team in Italy and GTB Roma, in collaboration with Aedo, a start-up that specialises in devices for the visually impaired. The idea is to allow the passenger to touch the screen and imagine in their mind the landscape or other items in front of them. An integrated camera takes a photograph of the view and converts it into a greyscale image, which is then reproduced across the glass window by LEDs.

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Passengers can touch the display to feel different shades of grey vibrate at different intensities.

Ford uses different intensities of vibration to differentiate shapes and audio cues for contest in "Feel The View".

An artificial intelligence-powered vocal assistant connected to the vehicle's speakers also gives a brief description of landscape features as passengers run their fingers over them.

Although only a concept at this stage, the technology illustrates the further-reaching role that cars could play in a future. "The technology is advanced, but the concept is simple - and could turn mundane journeys into truly memorable ones", says Marco Alù Saffi, Ford Italy spokesman.

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