Tech Briefs

Visual Image Sensor Organ Replacement

This innovation is a system that augments human vision through a technique called “Sensing Super-position” using a Visual Instrument Sensory Organ Replacement (VISOR) device. The VISOR device translates visual and other sensors (i.e., thermal) into sounds to enable very difficult sensing tasks.

Three-dimensional spatial brightness and multi-spectral maps of a sensed image are processed using real-time image processing techniques (e.g. histogram normalization) and transformed into a two-dimensional map of an audio signal as a function of frequency and time. Because the human hearing system is capable of learning to process and interpret extremely complicated and rapidly changing auditory patterns, the translation of images into sounds reduces the risk of accidentally filtering out important clues.

The VISOR device was developed to augment the current state-of-the-art head-mounted (helmet) display systems. It provides the ability to sense beyond the human visible light range, to increase human sensing resolution, to use wider angle visual perception, and to improve the ability to sense distances. It also allows compensation for movement by the human or changes in the scene being viewed.

This work was done by David A. Maluf of Ames Research Center.

Inquiries concerning rights for the commercial use of this invention should be addressed to the Ames Technology Partnerships Division at 1-855-NASA-BIZ (1-855-6272-249) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . ARC-15578-2

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