Seeing with sound

Now, there is a technology called vOICe that can allow blinde people to see with sound. The basic technology takes a picture and translates it into a soundscape, which in turn the brain retranslates into a picture. Thus, you get a very lo-resolution picture through the sound translation.

One of the more fascinating elements of the program is the stuff on brain-function, and the new theories being engendered by this about the way that what we think of as the “visual cortex” is actually a general-purpose tool for processing sensory data about one’s surroundings regardless of whether or not it arrives visuallly.

BoingBoing < CBC

Personal note: For the life of me, I can’t remember the name of the 80s movie about this, but there was a movie where this guy was blind but he carried a Walkman around and could see through the soundscape. I believe the premise was that the guy “saw” a murder, but couldn’t identify the killer since he was “blind”. Amazing how technology has taken things out of movies, and into reality. Soon, we’ll be flying around in Gundams (I still have my bets on Japan, just you wait).