STTR Phase I: Thermal Imaging Aid to the Blind

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0710817
Agency Tracking Number: 0710817
Amount: $141,784.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: BT
Solicitation Number: NSF 06-598
Small Business Information
6901 East Fish Lake Road, 6745 HOLLISTER AVENUE, Maple Grove, MN, 55369
DUNS: 927303412
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Greg Seifert
 (763) 463-4814
Business Contact
 Tom Hendrickson
Title: PhD
Phone: (763) 463-4814
Research Institution
 Johns Hopkins School of Med
 Gislin A Dagnelie
 Homewood Divisions Room 113
Baltimore, MD, 21218 7211
 (410) 502-6445
 Nonprofit college or university
This Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer research develops a device to allow a blind person or individual with significant vision impairment to sense the location and movements of people in the immediate area. The device will utilize a new low cost and miniature thermal imaging sensor technology to detect the relative warmth of people and present the information to the user via a haptic, touch-sensitive interface. The ability of a person to interact socially is an important factor for integration and independence in educational settings, the workplace, and recreational activities. A blind person or an individual with significant vision impairment typically must rely solely on verbal or other audio cues to identify the locations of people and group activities. Groups of several people in a classroom or meeting setting are difficult to track dynamically. At social events such as parties, spectator sports, and stage presentations the ability to sense individual activities is important to full participation. The simple task of finding a seat in a crowded school cafeteria or auditorium can be difficult for a blind person to do independently. The broader impact of this project will be to provide a device using thermal imaging information to drive a haptic display enabling better lives for visually disabled persons.

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

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