Hand-Mounted Sonar with 2cm to 3m Range


Hand SonarIt is so easy for sighted people to assume that anyone who is blind or has some form of sight impairment would be eternally grateful for a device that could completely replicate pure vision. No doubt many would do, but for some, where restoration of vision is impossible, it feels that their needs have become neglected.

The Tacit has come along to assist and it does beg the question as to why something so obvious has not been made more widely available before now. The basic technology has certainly been around for some time and now it has been brought together in this form, patent-free, by its inventor Steve Hoefer.

The Tacit uses twin ultrasonic sensors that are set at an angle to each other, left and right, to be worn as headgear. The sensors use a method of measuring distances between objects and the individual that is very similar to the now-very-common and affordable digital measuring tapes used by estate agents and surveyors.

In use, the sensors can detect objects by means of an ultrasonic ping as close as 2cm away, and as far as 3 metres away. However, the Tacit takes the digital measuring a step further to provide a very useful living aid for people who need it. It does this by relaying the information to a foam loop on the user’s wrist via two servos. The harder the pressure, the closer the object will be. The foam loop is designed to work on either hand and is battery operated.

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