A Momentary Flow

Updating Worldviews one World at a time

A device that trains the brain to turn sounds into images could be used as an alternative to invasive treatment for blind and partially-sighted people, researchers at the University of Bath have found. “The vOICe” is a visual-to-auditory sensory substitution device that encodes images taken by a camera worn by the user into “soundscapes” from which experienced users can extract information about their surroundings. It helps blind people use sounds to build an image in their minds of the things around them. A research team, led by Dr Michael Proulx, from the University’s Department of Psychology, looked at how blindfolded sighted participants would do on an eye test using the device. The vOICe program was run on “slow motion” setting. It scanned images from left to right, producing soundscapes with a duration of 2 seconds, and in “negative video” mode, in which dark areas correspond to loud sounds and white areas produce no sound. They were asked to perform a standard eye chart test called the Snellen Tumbling E test, which asked participants to view the letter E turned in four different directions and in various sizes. Normal, best-corrected visual acuity is considered 20/20, calculated in terms of the distance (in feet) and the size of the E on the eye chart. (via How to see with your ears | KurzweilAI)

A device that trains the brain to turn sounds into images could be used as an alternative to invasive treatment for blind and partially-sighted people, researchers at the University of Bath have found. “The vOICe” is a visual-to-auditory sensory substitution device that encodes images taken by a camera worn by the user into “soundscapes” from which experienced users can extract information about their surroundings. It helps blind people use sounds to build an image in their minds of the things around them. A research team, led by Dr Michael Proulx, from the University’s Department of Psychology, looked at how blindfolded sighted participants would do on an eye test using the device. The vOICe program was run on “slow motion” setting. It scanned images from left to right, producing soundscapes with a duration of 2 seconds, and in “negative video” mode, in which dark areas correspond to loud sounds and white areas produce no sound. They were asked to perform a standard eye chart test called the Snellen Tumbling E test, which asked participants to view the letter E turned in four different directions and in various sizes. Normal, best-corrected visual acuity is considered 20/20, calculated in terms of the distance (in feet) and the size of the E on the eye chart. (via How to see with your ears | KurzweilAI)

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