AT&T To Reinvent GPS Guidance With Haptic Steering Wheel
GPS has all but done away with the physical map, and pre-trip planning for that matter. While GPS screens are less dangerous to look at than, say, a full-sized map, they still take your eyes away from the road, and that perceived ease of the glance probably discourages people from letting their copilot navigate, as they might otherwise. All that said, GPS probably contributes to more on-road distraction than you might think. Some are aiming to turn the windshield into a screen, but AT&T Labs is trying to change up the whole game by eliminating the screen entirely and relying instead on a haptic steering wheel.Read on...
Prototype Controller Showcases Context-Sensitive Haptic Thumbsticks
Remember the Rumble Pak? Funny to think that haptic feedback in a controller used to be a luxury and not the norm. Now, thankfully, it's included by default in almost every video game controller, yet we're still stick with plain old rumble. Controller-free systems like the Kinect even threaten that, but engineers at the University of Utah are still sweet on haptic, which is why they're trying to take it to the next level with a controller that emulates specific moments by manipulating little motorized thumbsticks inside your thumbsticks. Yo dawg.Read on...
DIY Wristband Provides Haptic Sonar for the Blind
With technology getting cheaper and ever more compact, Steve Hoefer, glove-inventor extraordinaire, decided that it was time there be an upgrade from the standard blind man's cane. Unfortunately, it's not a laser-cane or anything, but it's still pretty neat: A haptic sonar gauntlet. The device wears kind of a like a glove. You slip your middle finger through a loop and then the actual guts of the thing, which appear to be about the size of a clay pidgeon, sit on top of your hand. From its perch there, the device sends out ultra-sonic pings and feeds the response times into a pair of servos that apply pressure proportional to the distance of the object.
Through the use of this device, a blind person can survey the general lay of their surroundings by gently swinging their arm around and pushing towards, or pulling away from pressure, depending on what they're trying to do. Because the device sits on the back of the hand the way it does, it won't interfere with normal sense of touch or any dexterity-based activities. Hoefer toyed with the idea of a head-based device, before deciding that was just a sighted-bias.Read on...