From rolling hills to mountain ranges, views make any road trip memorable, but for blind passengers this is part of the experience that they miss.
A prototype smart car window aims to change this by enabling blind or partially-sighted people to visualise passing scenery through touch.
Feel The View takes pictures that are turned into high-contrast monochrome images. These are then reproduced on the glass using special LEDs.
By touching the image, different shades of grey vibrate with a range of 255 intensities, allowing passengers to touch the scene and rebuild in their mind the landscape in front of them.
Feel The View was conceived and developed by Ford of Italy and GTB Roma, in collaboration with Aedo - an Italian start-up that specialises in devices for the visually impaired.
“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,” said Kuda Takura, Ford Motor Company of SA spokesperson.
For now, the technology is an early prototype, with no current plans for production.
January 4 is World Braille Day.