In my earlier posts (Post1, Post2, Post3, Post4), we discussed the mobility of a visually disabled person that is directly proportional to his awareness of the environment. The more he knows about his surroundings, the easier it gets for him to move around. An issue in achieving this, is the extent of the person’s sensory involvement. Most blind people use auditory signals to understand the state of the environment and a navigation device is better off leaving sound signals alone.
The touch is another sense that is extensively used for mobility. Owing to the human body’s largest organ, the sense of touch, heat, etc, can effectively be used to send signals about the environment without disturbing hearing abilities or standard touch spots like fingers. US Patent Application: 20140184384 – Wearable navigation assistance for the vision-impaired proposes a very innovative use of existing technology to achieve said end. Published in July, 2014, the first claim of the patent reads as follows: