See the world like a dolphin, sort of!
Dolphin's echolocate but they don't hear those pings quite the way we would. They receive echolocation pings as vibrations in their lower jaw. Some big whales do this too. Which raises the question: "what if we could use bone conducting headphones and ultrasonic range finders to mimic that experience?"
And DolphinView was born.
Ultrasonic rangefinders (at lease the readily available ones use for proximity detection) are really short range (less than half a meter). I replaced those with a much longer range time-of-flight LiDAR unit. It's the kind of thing you might see on a drone to detect and avoid onstacles. Using this LiDAR unit, I created a system that pulses like SONAR the closer an object gets to you.
But that's just a proximity alarm. The real trick is sending the signal to your brain the way a dolphin might.
Which brings me to bone conducting headphones. Rather than a tiny speaker sitting in or on your ear, bone conducting headphones sit on you temples and send vibrations directly into you inner ear. Functionally, this means you can listen to music or podcasts at any volume and still hear the world around you. For DolphinView, this means you get a continuous pulse that increases or decrease in frequency (frequency of occurrence, not frequency of the pulse tone) the closer you get to an object.
This was conceived as an educational project to let students experience the world "like a dolphin might". Several individuals have pointed out that it may have utility for he vision impaired. While that may be true, it certainly would need a lot more refining before anyone should view this as more than a novelty.
Full documentation can be found at the DolphinView GitHub Repository.
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