Category: Orientation and Mobility


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---- PROTOTYPE --------- PURPOSE: To create a prototype of a haptic device to assist individuals who are blind or low vision to determine the proximity of objects in complex environments. Created by Steve Hoefer, Tacit is a wrist-mounted device that uses ultrasonic sensors positioned at the front of the device to measure distances from one inch to 10 feet and provide tactile feedback through motorized rubber pads at the rear of the device, which apply increasing amounts of pressure on the wrists as the users get closer to an object. Originally designed as a new video game concept where the user did not rely on his or her vision to navigate a role-playing game, the Tacit was modified to use sensors and vibrations at hand level rather than at head height. The prototype can be worn on either hand, and it is composed of relatively inexpensive materials totaling around $75.00. Details of the Tacit's materials, circuits and software are available at the Grathio Labs web site ( under a Creative Commons license to maximize feedback and hopefully improve the design. POWER: Uses a standard 9-volt battery, AUTHOR: Matthew Knight. TITLE: Haptic device gives blind a helping hand. WEBSITE: CNN Tech: Innovation. REF:


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