SBIR Phase I: Viability of a Sensory Substitution Device Giving Blind Users Sight Through Sound

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0946035
Agency Tracking Number: 0946035
Amount: $147,552.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: IC
Solicitation Number: NSF 09-541
Small Business Information
273 Waverly Dr, Pasadena, CA, 91105
DUNS: 829979595
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Enrico Di Bernardo
 PhD
 (626) 252-0496
 enricodb@gmail.com
Business Contact
 Enrico Di Bernardo
Title: PhD
Phone: (626) 252-0496
Email: enricodb@gmail.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project aims to determine the commercial viability of a sensory substitution device that enables blind users to "see with sound" by transforming images from a wearable camera into sounds. One aspect to be investigated is whether or not the proposed device is useful and effective in the daily life of blind users. Another aspect is to determine the ease with which blind users can learn to interpret the sounds. Related to both, another goal is to develop a training curriculum that makes learning to interpret the sounds and use the device in daily life as easy as possible. The broader impact of this research is the rehabilitation of the blind, enabling them to interact with their environment in ways that are otherwise impossible - recognizing and localizing objects at a distance, and being able to navigate in an environment without touching or bumping in to things. It is anticipated that the device can enhance the personal freedom and independence of the blind, enabling them to engage in a larger spectrum of activities, and empowering their integration and interaction with the rest of society.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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