Future Hardware Concepts

A project log for SNAP: Augmented Echolocation

Sightless Navigation And Perception (SNAP) translates surroundings into sound, providing continuous binaural feedback about the environment.

dan-schneiderDan Schneider 10/21/2017 at 08:370 Comments

Headset Development

The current headset is defined by the R200, which is an ungainly rectangular block that doesn't fit anywhere on your face. Comparing it to Geordi's visor is complimentary, but probably not a good sign for users who want to avoid the fashion statement. 

The future SVO headset will  take into account feedback we've gotten about our current design to keep the eyes free of obstacles so that partially sighted individuals can take advantage of all of their senses. Some of our concept art explores integrating cameras into more popular eyeware to take advantage of the aesthetic benefits.

Some considerations for a headset like this:

Controller Development

To reduce costs, the controller housing will be as simple as possible. This concept uses a preexisting aluminum extrusion profile which has been cut to length and anodized, forming the entirety of the chassis in one solid body. Milled features are shown in this image, although the intricacy of the text would likely prove to be cost prohibitive. Silk screen or labeling are more realistic options. 

Some considerations for the chassis:

Exploded Assembly

Removing the endcaps we are able to slide the PCB out either end. These end caps will either glue in place, or snap in with an interstitial gasket. The former option would make for a better seal, possibly up IP67 depending on the USB C connectors available. But can we resist making it SNAP together?

The FPGA/SoC would be placed on the far side of the board. Considering the size of the battery, this would nearly need to be a one sided board. It is likely that the battery will need to be larger still, and that the chassis will need to grow. The overall footprint is on par with an average cell phone, but because we will be powering two cameras and headphones and be running image manipulation continuously, it will consume quite a bit more power on average. 

Better hardware estimates will be available after we have created a SVO prototype and have a firm grasp of the processing power required.