Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Braille technology helps visually impaired 'see' emotions

Date:
April 28, 2010
Source:
Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish)
Summary:
Without vision it’s impossible to interpret facial expressions, or so it’s believed. Not any more. A researcher in Sweden is presenting a new technology in his doctoral thesis – a Braille code of emotions.

Without vision it's impossible to interpret facial expressions, or so it's believed. Not any more. Shafiq ur Réhman, Umeå University, presents a new technology in his doctoral thesis -- a Braille code of emotions. "It gives new opportunities for social interactions for the visually impaired," he says.

Lacking the sense of vision can be very limiting in a person's daily life. The most obvious limitation is probably the difficulty of navigation, but small details in everyday life, which seeing people take for granted, are also missed. One of those things is the ability to see a person during a conversation. Facial expressions provide emotional information and are important in communication. A smile shows pleasure, amusement, relief, etc. Missing information from facial expressions create barriers to social interactions.

"Blind persons compensate for missing information with other senses such as sound. But it is difficult to understand complex emotions with voice alone," says Shafiq ur Réhman.

His thesis addresses a challenging problem: how to let visually impaired "see" others' emotions. To make this possible the research group has developed a new technology based on an ordinary web camera, hardware as small as a coin, and a tactile display. This enables the visually impaired to directly interpret human emotions.

"Visual information is transferred from the camera into advanced vibrating patterns displayed on the skin. The vibrators are sequentially activated to provide dynamic information about what kind of emotion a person is expressing and the intensity of the emotion," he explains.

The first step for a user is to learn the patterns of different facial expressions by using displaying the emotions in front of a camera that translates the emotions into vibrational patterns. In this learning phase the visually impaired person have a tactile display mounted on the back of a chair. When interacting with other people a sling on the forearm can be used instead.

The main research focus has been to characterise different emotions and to find a way to present them by means of advanced biomedical engineering and computer vision technologies. The project was founded by the Swedish Research Council.

The research group's spin-off company Videoakt AB has been granted a patent for the technology, which soon will be available as a product on the open market. Tactile feedback is also interesting in other areas as a future communication tool, for seeing people as well.

"We have successfully demonstrated how the technology can be implemented on mobile phones for tactile rendering of live football games and human emotion information through vibrations. This is an interesting way to enhance the experience of mobile users," explains Shafiq ur Réhman.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). "New Braille technology helps visually impaired 'see' emotions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100427111447.htm>.
Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). (2010, April 28). New Braille technology helps visually impaired 'see' emotions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100427111447.htm
Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). "New Braille technology helps visually impaired 'see' emotions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100427111447.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) — New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) — Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) — A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins