USA flag logo/image

An Official Website of the United States Government

Feel-Beyond-Fingers device for the Blind

Award Information

Agency:
Department of Health and Human Services
Branch:
N/A
Award ID:
70818
Program Year/Program:
2007 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
EY014528
Solicitation Year:
N/A
Solicitation Topic Code:
N/A
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Small Business Information
VORTANT TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
88 HIGH COUNTRY RD WEAVERVILLE, NC 28787-
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
 
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2007
Title: Feel-Beyond-Fingers device for the Blind
Agency: HHS
Contract: 2R44EY014528-02
Award Amount: $610,736.00
 

Abstract:

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This RandD project will provide a miniature, inconspicuous device for blind individuals to sense what is in front of their hand - both as a short-range sensor for finding small, nearby objects in daily living, as well a s a longer-range sensing device for mobility enhancement. The device will be most useful for newly or completely blind individuals, especially in unfamiliar, hazardous, or unsanitary environments. Based on an innovative infrared distance-sensing technology , the proposed Feel-Beyond-Fingers device has several significant advantages that make it unique among solutions for blind users. The Phase l project began with a Focus Group activity at subcontractor Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ACB VI). A proof of concept device was fabricated and tested after detailed packaging and electronics design. Visually impaired participants used the device in simulated everyday scenarios at ACBVI. The participants showed a high level of enthusiasm for the de vice. In Phase II, the completed SBIR project will result in a device whose effectiveness has been evaluated by users in everyday life, over an extended period of time. Commercialization will produce an attractively priced product that will enable enhanced participation in a wider range of social, vocational, and educational activities. The proposed Feel Beyond Fingers (FBF) device provides an important function that is of interest to a significant portion of the blind and visually impaired population, whic h currently numbers about 3 million individuals. The proposed device would be of greatest interest to the totally blind, who lack most visual cues about the immediate environment. This is estimated to be about 200,000 people in the U.S. In agreement with p revious data, the Phase I user evaluations found that these users face significant issues in locating small and large objects, getting around in social situations, and avoiding inadvertent contact with objects in the environment. The low cost of the produc tion device will also make the technology accessible to a much wider range of people than higher-cost object detection and range-finding technologies.

Principal Investigator:

Philip R. Schaefer
8286451026
PHIL@VORTANT.COM

Business Contact:

Philip R. Schaefer
liz@vortant.com
Small Business Information at Submission:

VORTANT TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
VORTANT TECHNOLOGIES, LLC 88 HIGH COUNTRY RD WEAVERVILLE, NC 28787

EIN/Tax ID: 161641817
DUNS: N/A
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No