3D GPS for the Blind Converts Surroundings into Braille Maps

3D GPS for the Blind Converts Surroundings into Braille Maps

Discover is a navigation tool that creates tactile maps based on surrounding topography

Leah Gonzalez
  • 18 august 2014

Jorge Trevino Blanco, a freelance industrial designer originally from Monterrey, Mexico, has developed a concept design for a 3D GPS handheld device that aims to help guide the visually-impaired by re-creating their surroundings on a pin surface.

The concept design, which Blanco calls Discover, uses pin-screen impression technology to create tactile 3D maps of the user’s surrounding topography.

The device looks like a sleek remote control with a rectangular pin surface on the upper part of the top side of the gadget. Below the pin surface are six buttons that are labelled in Braille. The labels stand for “Discover,” “City,” “GPS,” “Read,” “Time,” and “Tag.” On the front end of the device is a camera that records the scene to be translated onto the pin surface. The underside of the device has a brilliant finish over matte finish for added grip on the surface. In addition, a thin wrist strap helps keep the device from falling from the user’s grasp and possibly getting lost.


The handheld guiding tool can translate objects like cars and other obstacles on its pin surface. It can also create entire scenes on the pin surface and the user will just need to feel with their thumb or fingers to know what lies ahead of them.

According to the project page of the concept device on Blanco’s Behance page, the concept design is a work in progress.

Earlier this year, Blanco unveiled his concept design for a stylus for Google Glass. The concept stylus, called Google Draw, allows Google Glass wearers to write down commands instead of saying them out loud. Though the Google Draw concept was the designer’s personal project and was not in any way related to Google it has drawn some attention from fans of the wearable device.

Last year, Blanco’ design for Ohita, a personal air cleaner and replicator, was recognized as one of the best 20 concepts at the Electrolux Design Lab 2013.

Find out more about Discover and Blanco’s other projects on his portfolio page on Behance.

Jorge Trevino Blanco

Source: Yanko Design

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