[tabi] Fwd: By Tricking the Brain, Disney's Bringing Digital Sight to the Blind

  • From: K4NKZ Jim <k4nkz@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: tabi <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 12 Oct 2013 18:20:51 -0400

Have A Nice Day, From, K4NKZ Jim B.D.T.B.

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Subject: By Tricking the Brain, Disney's Bringing Digital Sight to the Blind
Date:   Sat, 12 Oct 2013 18:00:25 -0400
From:   Alan Dicey <adicey@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: Julie Parker <luvhumbug@xxxxxxxxx>, NFB Florida List Group <nfbf-l@xxxxxxxxxx>, FORUM FOR DISCLOSURES <FORUM_FOR_DISCLOSURES@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <MemoriesOfDaysGoneBy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Sherri Brun <flmom2006@xxxxxxxxx>, Dan Hicks <danjhicks@xxxxxxxxx>, Mike B. <mb69mach1@xxxxxxxxxxx>, Jim K4NKZ <k4nkz@xxxxxxxxxxx>, Carolyn Lapp <lappland@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, RP-Miami Group <RP-Miami@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Patricia Zoellers <patricia.zoellers@xxxxxxxxx>, Jonathan Brayfield <godskid75@xxxxxxxxx>, Shawn Clark <countrymusicfan1980@xxxxxxx>

Fox News Digital Network   Fox News
By Tricking the Brain, Disney's Bringing Digital Sight to the Blind
By Jennifer Booton  - Your World Tomorrow
Published October 11, 2013
The Walt Disney Company
The iconic media company that brought you "Fantasia" and the aspiring
magician Mickey Mouse now has a nifty trick of its own: bringing digital
sight to the blind.
New technologies being developed and studied by Walt Disney Co. (DIS) are
expected to add new dimensions -- literally -- to touchscreens.
Think screens that not only look but actually feel 3D.
Disney researchers in Pittsburgh are hoping their advancement in this
technology -- known as haptics -- shakes up everything from the way people
shop to how the blind interact with new media.
"The brain will be fooled into thinking an actual physical bump is on a
touch screen even through the touch surface is completely smooth," said Ivan
Poupyrev, director of Disney Research's Pittsburgh Interaction group.
The digital gears turning on a digital clock might feel rigid to a user, a
piece of digital paper might not only feel but write like normal on a glass
screen, while the dips and valleys of a topographical map would come to
For the visually impaired, new developments in haptics could improve the way
they interact with the digital world, enabling them, for example, to feel --
not just listen -- to navigation on a map.
Think what this could offer to a blind child watching a cartoon movie in the
theater for the first time: they'd be able to connect new characters to
their silly voices instantaneously, an ability people with sight might take
for granted.
Seeing by Feeling
Teasing the brain into feeling the edges and textures of flat digital
objects could open the door to a range of new apps that enhance e-commerce,
video and education.

This would also add to the slew of technologies already available, like
VoiceOver for Apple's (AAPL) iOS, that help the blind better navigate
today's complex digital world. Technological advancements from Apple and
Android have allowed blind people to partake in new developments in ways
originally not thought possible.
"iOS and Android really did change tech in a fundamental way so we were able
to use these technologies at the same time as the new versions were being
developed and coming out," says Paul Schroeder, vice president of programs
and policy at the American Foundation for the Blind.
Now, he says, many blind people can use touchscreen devices just as well as
people with sight.
Adding new tactile features such as those being explored by Disney and other
companies, including startup Tactus, would only add to that, allowing them
to use touchscreens even more efficiently and enhancing everything from the
way they learn and consume media to how they navigate in real time.
How it Works
Using an electrovibration to change friction, Disney can artificially
stretch the user's skin as their finger glides laterally across the
touchscreen surface, giving the sensation of "rich, immediate and dynamic"
touch on complex digital items in real time.
The technology would attract and release the finger from the touch surface,
producing "friction-like rubbery sensations" that allow the user to
physically interact with virtual objects, Disney explains.
Haptics is nothing new, but the media conglomerate says its algorithm-based
discovery, unveiled through a white paper this week, offers an innovative,
inexpensive and lightweight technology that could be "easily integrated"
into popular touchscreens.
How these haptics are developed into real-world applications will depend on
the creativity of app developers and programmers, notes Roger Kay, president
of Endpoint Technologies.
However, Schroeder says groups all around the world are already trying to
figure out ways to use haptics to benefit the blind. Being blind himself, he
has some great ideas of his own, including the cartoon movie and navigation
examples above.
Of course, Disney is confident the "rich palette of tactile sensations"
brought to life by this will inspire enhancements to existing apps while
triggering entirely new ones.
For the media giant, haptics could be intertwined with its treasure trove of
content, adding new layers to its 3D experiences and augmenting its
educational games and theme parks.
You may read this article at:

With Best Regards,
God Bless,
Plantation, Florida
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