Shafiq ur Réhman, Umeå University, presents a new technology in his doctoral thesis – a Braille code of emotions. “It gives new opportunities for social interactions for the visually impaired,” he says.
Lacking the sense of vision can be very limiting in a person's daily life. The most obvious limitation is probably the difficulty of navigation, but small details in everyday life, which seeing people take for granted, are also missed. One of those things is the ability to see a person during a conversation. Facial expressions provide emotional information and are important in communication. A smile shows pleasure, amusement, relief, etc. Missing information from facial expressions create barriers to social interactions.
“Blind persons compensate for missing information with other senses such as sound. But it is difficult to understand complex emotions with voice alone,” says Shafiq ur Réhman.
His thesis addresses a challenging problem: how to let visually impaired “see” others’ emotions. To make this possible the research group has developed a new technology based on an ordinary web camera, hardware as small as a coin, and a tactile display. This enables the visually impaired to directly interpret human emotions.
“Visual information is transferred from the camera into advanced vibrating patterns displayed on the skin. The vibrators are sequentially activated to provide dynamic information about what kind of emotion a person is expressing and the intensity of the emotion,” he explains.
The first step for a user is to learn the patterns of different facial expressions by using displaying the emotions in front of a camera that translates the emotions into vibrational patterns. In this learning phase the visually impaired person have a tactile display mounted on the back of a chair. When interacting with other people a sling on the forearm can be used instead.
The main research focus has been to characterise different emotions and to find a way to present them by means of advanced biomedical engineering and computer vision technologies. The project was founded by the Swedish Research Council.
The research group’s spin-off company Videoakt AB has been granted a patent for the technology, which soon will be available as a product on the open market. Tactile feedback is also interesting in other areas as a future communication tool, for seeing people as well.
“We have successfully demonstrated how the technology can be implemented on mobile phones for tactile rendering of live football games and human emotion information through vibrations. This is an interesting way to enhance the experience of mobile users,” explains Shafiq ur Réhman.For further information, please contact:
Karin Wikman | idw
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
AI implications: Engineer's model lays groundwork for machine-learning device
18.08.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences