Say hello to Chaotic Moon’s latest endeavor, Project Sentiri, which hit the press this week in an awesome article by Engadget. The proximity-sensing headband started with a specific idea—How can we help the blind better navigate?—and developed into something much bigger with incalculable potential: an exploration into haptic language.
To check out the article on Engadget, click here, or simply read it below…
HEADBAND DETECTS OBSTACLES AND GUIDES THE BLIND HAPTICALLY
By Steve Dent
Until scientists perfect bionic vision, shouldn’t there be a better way for the blind to get around than a simple cane? That’s the idea behind Sentiri, a proximity-sensing headband that helps steer users around by motor-driven haptic feedback. It detects objects in the environment using infrared depth sensors, then varies the level of vibrations to the user’s head to help them avoid obstacles. If it’s connected to a smartphone with an app like Google Maps, the tool can also safely guide you from point ‘A’ to point ‘B.’ The company behind it, Chaotic Moon, also created a “haptic language” that transmits extra information to users by changing the frequency, intensity and number of vibrations.
Chaotic Moon sees it as more than just a tool for the visually impaired. “This is technology that has the potential for wide use,” said CEO Ben Lamm. For instance, it could also be used by troops to keep radio silence, in a similar way to a belt-worn device tested by the US Army to help keep soldiers’ eyes on the battlefield. By exchanging the infrared sensors for thermal ones, it could also give users a form of haptic night-vision.
So far, the company doesn’t have a timeline to release Sentiri, nor a price.