Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

System to aid the blind nominated for Descartes Prize

14.07.2005


“Being nominated for the Descartes Prize is very gratifying; it’s an important recognition of our work,” says Teresa Gutierrez, coordinator of a short-listed project competing for the Descartes Prize for outstanding scientific work by a multinational team of researchers.



Involving six partners from four European countries, the IST GRAB project developed a system to allow blind and visually impaired people to access three-dimensional computer graphics through the senses of touch and hearing. “We always saw the potential of this technology and we’re pleased that others see it as well,” says Gutierrez, a researcher at Fundación Labein in Spain.

The GRAB project - which is among 14 projects competing for the European Commission’s 1.15 million euro Descartes Research Prize, the winners of which will be announced in London on December 2 – forms part of ongoing research by Labein and the other project partners into haptic and audio technologies to aid people who are visually impaired. The GRAB system allows users to feel the geometric features of 3D graphics through a force-feedback haptic interface connected to two articulated arms in which users place their index finger or thumb of each hand. Combined with audio information, the system allows users to recognise the geometric features of virtual objects, and calculate distances and spatial relationships between them.


“There are a wide variety of applications for this technology, not just for the visually impaired but also for medical and industrial training in virtual environments,” Gutierrez explains. “In the project we developed three application scenarios to test the system.”

A 3D city map allowed visually-impaired users to recognise streets and plan routes in advance; a chart data explorer allowed them to ‘feel’ the information contained in graphs; and an adventure game let them explore a virtual building.

“The game was particularly liked by trial users who to date have largely been confined to non-interactive static games, while the chart explorer allows visually-impaired people to visualise in their minds the performance of say a company on the stock market,” the coordinator says. “Overall the reactions were very positive; almost everyone noted that it allows them to do things they couldn’t do before.”

Nonetheless, Gutierrez says that the technology needs to be refined further and the cost of the system brought down before a commercial product can be released. With that goal in mind some of the project partners have set up a network of excellence to continue their research.

Tara Morris | alfa
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Researchers 3-D print electronics and cells directly on skin
26.04.2018 | University of Minnesota

nachricht Cheap 3-D printer can produce self-folding materials
25.04.2018 | Carnegie Mellon University

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Why we need erasable MRI scans

New technology could allow an MRI contrast agent to 'blink off,' helping doctors diagnose disease

Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a widely used medical tool for taking pictures of the insides of our body. One way to make MRI scans easier to read is...

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

World's smallest optical implantable biodevice

26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Molecular evolution: How the building blocks of life may form in space

26.04.2018 | Life Sciences

First Li-Fi-product with technology from Fraunhofer HHI launched in Japan

26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>