Automotive giant Ford has been hard at work with efforts to create a “smart window” that would allow blind passengers to “feel” the view. On May 2, Ford revealed their prototype of the technology, called, “Feel the View.” Here’s how it works:
The prototype technology is attached to the car window, and is activated simply by pressing a button. A photograph is taken of the view outside, and those images are reproduced in grayscale. According to CNN, the shades of grayscale can “vibrate” at nearly 300 different frequencies.
Along with the vibrations, an artificial intelligence-powered vocal assistant connected to the car’s audio system can give a short description of the environment outside. In the video below, you can see the vocal assistant tell a rider that she’s touching a snowy mountain as she traces it on the window.
Ford Italy spokesperson Alù Saffi said, “We seek to make people’s lives better and this was a fantastic opportunity to help blind passengers experience a great aspect of driving. The technology is advanced, but the concept is simple – and could turn mundane journeys into truly memorable ones.”
As this is just a prototype technology at this point, it is not available in any Ford vehicles and there are no immediate plans to offer the technology.