Traveling the world by car can be a beautiful experience. Long-distance trips might lead you through snow-capped mountains, dense forests or idyllic countrysides.
Unfortunately for the visually impaired, experiencing the world's beauty during travel can be a difficult task. However, there may be some good news for those individuals now if Ford's latest announcement is anything to go by.
The carmaker has recently come up with a plan to allow blind or "partially-sighted" people to experience the outdoors in a unique new way. They've done so via a piece of technology they call "Feel The View."
Feel The View is essentially a smart window capable of converting passing scenery into vibrations. If that sounds like an unbelievable concept, Ford explained the tech briefly in their announcement:
Feel The View takes pictures that are turned into high-contrast monochrome images. These are then reproduced on the glass using special LEDs. By touching the image, different shades of grey vibrate with a range of 255 intensities, allowing passengers to touch the scene and rebuild in their mind the landscape in front of them.
"We seek to make people's lives better and this was a fantastic opportunity to help blind passengers experience a great aspect of driving," Ford Italy spokesman Marco Alù Saffi said in a statement. "The technology is advanced, but the concept is simple – and could turn mundane journeys into truly memorable ones."
Regardless of their intentions, Feel The View is certainly an impressive piece of technology, and it could do quite a bit of good in the long run.
However, it's not clear exactly how Ford plans to use this technology; it could simply be an experiment intended to show off what their engineers are capable of.