A new innovation from Ford enables visually impaired passengers in vehicles to experience the passing landscape on a smart window.

Ford's Feel the View is a prototype smart window that allows blind or partially-sighted people to visualise the passing scenery through touch. An in-built camera fitted to the window captures images of the landscape at the press of a button.

Each image is reproduced in monochrome on the tactile window glass using embedded LEDs. When the passenger touches the glass, the different shades of grey vibrate within a range of 255 intensities, enabling the person to recreate the landscape in their mind. An AI-based voice assistant provides contextual information about the scenery through the vehicle’s audio system.

Developed by Ford of Italy and creative agency GTB Roma in collaboration with Aedo Project, an Italian start-up, Feel the View was conceptualised to “help blind passengers experience a great aspect of driving”.

Technology is increasingly being used to provide visually impaired people a better quality of life by helping them experience and enjoy their immediate surroundings. Feel the View is one such innovation that helps the blind enjoy a great aspect of driving and turn boring journeys into memorable ones.

Feel the View’s haptic feedback mechanism potentially has broader implications beyond vehicles, with GTB Rome describing the system as a completely new language that could find application in other areas for the blind.