Sensory Substitution Systems Using the Skin for the Input to the Brain
A tactile television system has been developed, in which a television camera image is projected onto the skin of the back by means of vibrating electromechanical stimulators. Blind subjects, within a few hours of training, have learned to identify geometric forms, movement in depth, environmental objects, photographs of faces, and block letter words. Tactile stimulation is also being adapted to hearing substitution and artificial kinesthetic feedback for an artificial limb. A prototype portable system utilizing electrical skin stimulation has been recently tested. After sufficient experience the vision substitution system appears to become an extension of the sensory apparatus.
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