FingerSight: Fingertip haptic sensing of the visual environment

Samantha Horvath, John Galeotti, Bing Wu, Roberta Klatzky, Mel Siegel, George Stetten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


We present a novel device mounted on the fingertip for acquiring and transmitting visual information through haptic channels. In contrast to previous systems in which the user interrogates an intermediate representation of visual information, such as a tactile display representing a camera generated image, our device uses a fingertip-mounted camera and haptic stimulator to allow the user to feel visual features directly from the environment. Visual features ranging from simple intensity or oriented edges to more complex information identified automatically about objects in the environment may be translated in this manner into haptic stimulation of the finger. Experiments using an initial prototype to trace a continuous straight edge have quantified the user's ability to discriminate the angle of the edge, a potentially useful feature for higher levels analysis of the visual scene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2700109
JournalIEEE Journal of Translational Engineering in Health and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Visually impaired
  • blind
  • haptics
  • sensory substitution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'FingerSight: Fingertip haptic sensing of the visual environment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this