Disney Research: fireworks you can feel on your hands
Science & Tech / /
A solution using water jets creates fireworks displays for blind people.
The fireworks are primarily exciting visual stimulus, thanks to Disney Research that has been working on a "Feeling Fireworks," it is now possible to experience firework with our hands, making the experience accessible for blind. According to Principal Research Scientist Paul Beardsley, this project was part of his group's work to create “an aesthetic technology for the blind and visually impaired community.”
Haptic feedback, used in the project, to aid the blind, or people with low vision, is a new concept and has been on the rise in the past few years. Touch-based stimuli tech can be found in everything from the Sunu wristband that shakes to give directions to special shoes that vibrate to guide a blind people while they are walking. Disney’s design, however, is strictly focused on enabling blind people the experience of fireworks.
The technology consists of a latex screen with dimensions 3 feet x 3 feet with a series of water jets in the back and a projector in the front. Shapes of the fireworks on the screen, which are coming from the spray characteristics of the jets, are controlled by a basic Arduino computer, so users on the other side can feel them on their hands through the flexible surface. A projector at the front of the screen can also create an image corresponding to the fireworks stimuli.
The prototype uses a Microsoft Kinect camera array that tracks the movement of the user, which makes the display interactive, which otherwise cannot be succeed with traditional explosive displays.
The tech was tested on a group of 18 subjects, and the results showed that they had a 66% success rate in matching a haptic firework to a video representing the same duration and shape.
This isn’t the first time Disney experiments with interactive displays with haptic feedback . In 2013, the company showed off a technology called Aireal using and ultrasonic pressure radiation and air vortices to make virtual objects on a screen feel 3D.
Source: Popular Science