Microsoft engineers have developed a VR-cane for the blind

Microsoft engineers have developed a VR-cane for the blind

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Experts the Redmond IT giant has been able to adapt virtual reality for blind and visually impaired. Now people that have serious defects of vision, will be able to use a special VR-cane, to recreate in the virtual reality of the unfamiliar road and train in its passage without risk to the health and psyche.

The system consists of a belt on which is attached a long metal rod holding the cane itself, the tracker and the VR-helmet HTC Vive. The user acts as normally, the motion feeling of the VR cane room. At the moment when she stumbles upon a virtual object embedded in the cane vibrator motor start to vibrate, simulating the collision with an object, signaling the user about the need to stop. Headphones headset reproduce the relevant characteristics of the subject sound like a thud on a metal tank or a knock, which is characteristic for collisions with wooden furniture. In addition, the system simulates and other sensations. The user feels what is on the carpet or tile, may feel that there is a small obstacle, e.g. a curb.

Now the system has difficulties with the simulation of the walls. Such obstacles can be traced with the help of VR-canes, but I need sounds headset transmits with difficulty, causing some difficulties. However, now the system can help visually impaired and blind people to explore a new route without being exposed to danger and stress. The developers have already tested VR-stick on people. Eight out of ten participants were able to navigate in virtual reality after ten minutes of using the gadget.