Business

Ford showcases smart window that allows blind to 'feel' the view

Posted May 2, 2018 12:01 p.m. EDT

Ford thinks it has its hands on an idea to help the visually impaired see the view outside.

— Ford thinks it has its hands on an idea to help the visually impaired see the view outside.

Ford revealed a prototype technology, called Feel the View, that allows the blind passengers to "feel" what they can't see outside a car's window. The automaker released a video this week touting the technology.

Here's how it works: A camera attaches to the car's window and takes photographs of the view outside.

Those images are then reproduced as a grayscale rendering in the window glass using special LED lights. When touched, the different shades of gray vibrate at up to 255 different frequencies. By feeling the image, a visually impaired person can mentally recreate the view outside.

The concept also includes an artificially intelligent image recognition system that says aloud, what is outside the car through its built-in speakers. For instance, it'll tell passengers when they're passing a mountain, a forest or an open field.

Ford developed the technology in collaboration with Aedo, an Italian company specializing in technology to assist the visually impaired.

A Ford spokesman said the company has no plans to offer the device for sale.