With a vest?
Yep, there us an app for that.
And how unique!
[via The Blaze] Could seeing eye dogs soon be replaced by…vests? In what could be a major breakthrough for the blind, USC school of engineering has developed a vest that, when worn, can navigate a person safely through their environment. Much like GPS, the system plots out a course pre-selected by each wearer. Stereo-vision cameras attached to the unit perceive depth and guide users along their selected route. The vest also includes vibration motors that alert the wearer if they’ve deviated off their charted courses.
Developers of the vest soon hope to refine the size and make the product available to the public. [Read More]
Reuters provides the video:
Or it would be, that is, if Mother Nature hadn’t gone all “one-upmanship” by creating a creature that sees with its WHOLE body…
[via Cosmos Magazine] NEWCASTLE: Sea urchins may use their entire body as a compound eye, throwing shadows with their skeletons to gain directional vision, according to new research.
Many echinoderms, a group that includes starfish, sea urchins and sea cucumbers, can react to light despite their lack of eyes. Previous studies have shown that sea urchins have a large number of genes linked to the development of the retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue in the human eye.
New research has now revealed that light-sensing photoreceptors seem to be located on the tip and base of the tube feet that cover the sea urchin’s entire body.
“It has been known for centuries that echinoderms react to light (both examples of escape or attraction),” said co-author Sam Dupont from the Department of Marine Ecology, of the study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
“However, there was a lot of debate on how they were doing this. One general idea was the presence of photosensitive cells dispersed over the body. What we show is that it is much more organised and complex than that.”
Seeing the light
Previously, scientists had thought that photoreceptors were present throughout the sea urchins’ bodies, allowing them to react to light, but not necessarily see images.
Genetic studies have shown that sea urchins have several genes for the production of the protein opsin, necessary for light-sensing, or photoreception.
The new study sought to find the opsin and hence the urchins’ light-sensing structures. The presence of opsin on the base and top of the sea urchins’ tube feet confirmed that photoreceptors are dispersed all over the body, and are also integrated with the nervous system. [Read More]
Way to go, Mother.
Now the vest doesn’t look quite as cool as I originally thought it was.