Hackaday Prize Entry: Sonic Glasses

This year, the Hackaday Prize is going to find the most innovative and interesting assistive technologies. Whether that’s refreshable Braille displays or reliable utensils for the disabled, the finalists for the Assistive Technologies portion of the Prize will be creating some of the most interesting tech out there.

For his entry into the Assistive Technology part of the Prize, [Pawit] is building binaural glasses for the blind. It’s difficult to navigate unknown environments without a sense of sight, and these SonicScape glasses turn cheap distance sensors into head-mounted sonar.

The glasses are built around a pair of ultrasonic distance sensors (the HC-SR-04, if you’re curious), mounted in a convenient 3D-printed enclosure that looks sufficiently like a pair of glasses to not draw too many glares. (Although maybe we’d print them in black to lower the contrast.) Of note in this project is the Bluetooth connectivity to eliminate wires and independent left and right audio channels. That last bit — being able to hear in left and right — is something we haven’t seen before in devices like this and aims to greatly increase the usability of such a device.

11 thoughts on “Hackaday Prize Entry: Sonic Glasses

  1. won’t there be any interference between these sensors when mounted so close together ?
    datasheet says the measurement angle: is 15 deg, so the beams will converge after only a few centimeters.
    Not sure if that angle is H or V though.

    1. That could be easily avoided by time-multiplexing them: only have one active at a time and quickly alternate between them. They respond fast enough that a human wouldn’t notice.

  2. Buy ready to wear sunglasses and mod them. Unless the 3D printing is to the shape of the wearer it is not needed. It just screams out in any color as ugly. I always wear my rear-view mirror on my glasses. It’s tiny.
    The beams should not be converged, but augment each other in spacial area. Try 3 in an angled center left right array. Mix center into both channels.

  3. I remember making almost this exact same thing with a Basic Stamp II way back in first year of university. It had two cellphone vibration motors on the arms for proximity warnings.

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