Foreign media recently exposed a new Microsoft study. The project combines VR with a set of haptic devices designed to allow visually impaired people to explore the VR world as they would in the real world.
This device is called CaneTroller, mainly consists of 5 parts:
The first is a Braing Mechanism hanging on my waist. I call it Brakes. Like a brake disc, this device controls the front-to-back slide of the bar to which it is attached.
The second part is a hand-held rod-shaped controller, called it the joystick (the laboratory is the use of ordinary alpenstock plus control system).
The third part is the slider. The slider connects the brakes and the joystick, and the user controls the brakes to determine where your joystick (stick) can extend.
The fourth part is Voice Coil. Software control circuit, and then make it vibrate through the magnetic field changes.
Finally, we are familiar with the Vive suite. The lever is tied to the Vive Tracker, with a Vive helmet on the user’s head and a Lighthouse base station in the corner of the ceiling.
With this VR device, the program can position the joystick in the virtual world and recognize the movement of the “stick.”
Let’s see how it works.
The user holds the joystick and points on the floor, similar to the blind pathfinder. The difference is that the control lever is too short to reach the floor at all.
The scene simulated in the program is not the same.
In order to facilitate the presentation, Microsoft deliberately made a MR video, the virtual and the real scene mix.
In the virtual world, a longer rod is simulated, the length of which is set according to the specific needs of the user. At the same time, some virtual objects are also arranged in the virtual world.
When this virtual blind stick touches a virtual floor or other object, the voice coil motor produces high-frequency vibrations that simulate a real collision. In the meantime, the brakes pass the “brake” to stop the stick from moving in the direction of the obstacle. Only feel from the touch, you will feel the grip of the hands really touched something.
Function is justified, however, in the real world, take the root stick trash can easily achieve the thing, why deliberately wear a VR glasses, but also specifically to develop a program to experience this virtual collision?
And blind people wearing VR glasses? What is the significance?
Back to this question: people silly more money?
Do not worry, after all, it’s called Microsoft, let’s see.
Through software control, the voice coil on the joystick accurately simulates the effect of a click or slide. Not only different materials of different terrain sounds, the pace of movement, strength and so can accurately simulate.
Meet an ordinary wall, no challenge.
Common blinds at the station, cane sliding friction and meal touch are simulated very well
At the same time, 3D headphones also provide accurate 3D space sound. This means that just as in the real world, visually impaired users can move forward normally through ordinary two-point touch.
Careful people will find that the root of the virtual stick is always stabbed into the floor. This is because the brake can only control the lever in the horizontal direction, in the vertical plane helpless.
After all, Microsoft, they first thought of using software to make up for the lack of hardware: When the dummy stick moved to where it should not be, the program sounded an alarm.
Listen to Microsoft finish these nonsense operation, the time to witness the miracle.
In order to verify the practicality of the product, the research team asked several people who were visually impaired to use the blind stick for testing. They first learned how to use the device. The goal of the formal test is to find and identify all the objects in the virtual scene with the aid of this device, just by listening and touching.
Among them, the indoor scene with trash cans, blankets, tables.
Outdoor scene is a traffic intersection. Users need to find a blind spot, find the traffic light column, to determine the safe place to cross the road.
Of the nine people who participated in the test, eight said the correct layout of the virtual scene in minutes.
The product is roughly the case, what are its applications? Black box that there are three main:
First, let those with visual impairment, through this device for safe exploration of environmental training. While training with solid carpets, bricks and trash cans is not a problem, it’s not easy to explore more scenarios.
The second is to let visually impaired people experience the blind world. This is not for fun, of course, but for those who serve or design for the blind to understand the actual needs of the blind.
Third, let the blind experience VR. At first, I only understood the device as a training product, but the comments from foreign netizens inspired me: Why can not blind people experience VR?
Robert Accardi, a YouTube user, said everyone underestimated the potential of such products. If you do not have a cane, just let the environment of various objects according to different textures and different distances make different voices, until the human brain to form a reflection or memory. When you put on a pair of glasses that convert ambient 3D information into 3D sound effects, it is equivalent to “seeing” the world with glasses.
There are users questioned, there is no image, it is also called VR?
“Virtual reality is nothing more than the use of software to simulate the real world, not necessarily through the visual sensor to simulate.” User Luca Conesa think so.
The blind also have to explore the world’s needs, and even more intense desire. With VR, they can explore a variety of simulated realistic scenes in safer conditions.
In addition, with the enhancement of haptics and other sensory techniques, there may be content suitable for people with sight or hearing impairment in the future. Who says this can not be just what they need?