Springwise: Haptic Vest Guides Wearers Through Low Visibility Environments

Using tech inspired by bats, this vest detects 360 degrees around the wearer and warns of obstacles with touch.

Navigating our way around cities has been made significantly easier thanks to the various available map tools, and we’ve even seen startups such as Lechal and SuperShoes aim to embed vibrating GPS directions into the clothes we wear every day. Now Eyeronman is a sensor-packed vest that can detect obstacles 360 degrees around the wearer and warn them through tactile feedback.

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The vest features various sensors that use different technologies to make sense of the space around them. The first is an ultrasound device that uses the same method as bats to determine how far away obstacles are. Infrared is also used to detect the temperature of nearby objects. Finally, the vest is also equipped with a LiDAR laser, the technology used by driverless cars to monitor the distance of other vehicles. If the vest senses something that might pose a danger, it alerts wearers of its location by setting off the corresponding vibrating pad — for example, bottom left.

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As well as providing a way for those with visual impairment to ‘sense’ their surroundings, the vests could also be useful for emergency services and soldiers who find themselves in situations where visibility is affected due to smoke, darkness or bomb blasts. How else could this kind of technology be used?

Originally published by Springwise, republished with kind permission.

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