[nfbwatlk] New Braille Technology Helps Visually Impaired'See'Emotions (How ridiculous is this!)

M J CARPENTER mjc59 at q.com
Fri Apr 30 15:18:12 CDT 2010


I looked up the videoakt AB website, and it contains a truly horrifying array of hi-tech devices for blind people. All of them presuppose that we cannot function without them. I'm so angry I hardly know what to say next.

 

The article appeard in Sciencedaily. We could write to them.

 

I think I will start using my facebook page to get the message out that a white cane and common sense are far superior to beeping canes and emotion detecting devices. There are plenty  of people (childhood friends and distant cousins) who might read one of these articles and think 'Why not?' I will also put up links to NFB websites. I'm not going to write one long diatribe, just a few sentences now  and then on a specific idea or article. I'm sure this is not an original idea, but for me it feels better than  nothing.

 

Marci    
> From: fairyfoot at webband.com
> To: nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org
> Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2010 12:27:00 -0700
> Subject: Re: [nfbwatlk] New Braille Technology Helps Visually Impaired'See'Emotions (How ridiculous is this!)
> 
> How stupid !
> 
> You can tell by the sound of the persons voice.
> 
> First it is the beeping cane and now this!
> 
> What a bunch of garbage!
> 
> 
> Gloria Whipple
> Corrisponding secretary
> Inland Empire chapter
> nfb of WA
> 
> cell number: 509-475-4993
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
> Behalf Of Mary Ellen
> Sent: Friday, April 30, 2010 11:56 AM
> To: list at cfb.cas; 'NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List'
> Cc: 'Deborah Kent Stein'; bbpierce at pobox.com
> Subject: [nfbwatlk] New Braille Technology Helps Visually
> Impaired'See'Emotions (How ridiculous is this!)
> 
> This kind of research makes me want to spit!
> If understanding emotions is so difficult without the aid of eyesight, why
> are there millions and millions of meaningful telephone conversations every
> day?
> I believe this sort of thing is particularly harmful to parents who wonder
> how their blind children will interact socially. If some of these people
> have their way, the blind will become bionic people with computers and other
> machines poking out of every pocket and attached to every body part.
> I believe some sighted people don't know what to do at first if they don't
> make eye contact, but *PLEASE* let's not get carried away!
> Mary Ellen
> 
> 
> New Braille Technology Helps Visually Impaired 'See' Emotions
> 
> ScienceDaily, Apr. 28, 2010 
> 
> 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.
> 
> 
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