In this paper, we introduce a mobile, generic, and inexpensive visuo-tactile sensory substitution device for the visually impaired. The device helps users to explore the world around them, by pointing it towards objects of the environment and rendering tactile information to the objects sensed by a camera. With the help of two visually impaired participants, we conducted three preliminary experiments and evaluated the performance of the device in detecting, reaching and exploring tasks. Both participants were able to detect, explore and reach for a given object of interest in a controlled room setting using only the tactile information rendered on the flat panel of the device. The implication of results and future directions for tactile assistive devices are discussed.
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