MEXICO CITY – A group of Mexican engineers designed a vest fitted with sensors supplemented by a pair of glasses to allow a visually impaired person to detect nearby people or objects, Mexico’s University of Technology (Unitec) said Wednesday.
This invention, dubbed SODVI, will improve the quality of life of the visually impaired by allowing them to detect and identify obstacles and avoid depending on others for their mobility.
Software engineer Allan Emanuelle Cruz, the project leader, said that the team combined electronic equipment, sensors and computer programming to make it possible for visually impaired people to venture out in public unaided.
“The vest has a set of circuits with sensors that work out distances. With the programming, the person wearing the vest feels a vibration when nearing an obstacle,” he said.
SODVI won the 5th Unitec Technological Innovation for Social Development Award.
The vest looks like a regular piece of clothing and can be easily washed without damaging the electronic equipment.
“The vest has two layers of fabric and the electronic equipment, which is very thin and barely noticeable, is stored between those two layers,” the engineer said.
The glasses supplement the vest by vibrating when approaching people or objects, allowing a greater range of perception.
Outdoors, the sensor is capable of detecting other people and objects at a distance of up to 7 meters (23 ft).