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United Kingdom: Researchers In Bath Develop Technology That Transforms Ima...

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By Reuters

(SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF VOICE RESEARCH TEAM, DR MICHAEL PROULX, SENIOR LECTURER IN PSYCHOLOGY AT UNIVERSITY OF BATH, SAYING: "The vOICe takes the images from the camera and then scan the images from left to right turning each column of pixels in the image into a different frequency, sort of like having a different note for each one, and so as it scans the image from left to right those pixels that are high up in the image are assigned a high frequency, or like a high note. Those pixels that are low in the image are assigned a low frequency, or like a low note. And then the left to right location of things are coded by the timing of the scan as it goes from left to right." VARIOUS OF GLASSES WORN BY TRIAL PARTICIPANTS VOICE DEVICE (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF VOICE RESEARCH TEAM, DR MICHAEL PROULX, SENIOR LECTURER IN PSYCHOLOGY AT UNIVERSITY OF BATH, SAYING: "Also, if you're wearing headphones you'll have stereo tuning, so if something's on the left you'll hear it in your left ear. If something's on the right you hear it in your right ear. And then people are able to learn this translation in the sound and assign to in the same way that you would be able to not only know where objects are but start to understand what objects are by understanding their shape and their texture and so on." DAVE BROWN, RESEARCH OFFICER AT UNIVERSITY OF BATH, PLACING TV REMOTE CONTROL ON TABLE IN FRONT OF BLINDFOLDED VOLUNTEER REMOTE CONTROL VOLUNTEER TRYING TO LOCATE REMOTE CONTROL VOLUNTEER'S HAND AND FACE VOLUNTEER FINDS REMOTE CONTROL (SOUNDBITE) (English) DAVE BROWN, RESEARCH OFFICER AT UNIVERSITY OF BATH, SAYING: "Certainly in naive users a lot of our experiments after four hours they will certainly be able to distinguish objects and localise objects far above chance, but then like learning a language, the more you practice the better you get and also you have to take this into different environments, different circumstances." VARIOUS OF VOLUNTEER TRYING TO NAVIGATE HER WAY AROUND A BOX ON THE FLOOR BROWN WATCHING VOLUNTEER WALKING SLOWLY PROULX WATCHING VOLUNTEER FINDS HER WAY ROUND BOX AND PROULX APPLAUDS (SOUNDBITE) (English) SARA DELL'ERBA (PRON: DER-LAIR-BA), STUDENT AT UNIVERSITY OF BATH, SAYING: "I was looking to it, just moving slowly, from maybe left to right, and by hearing the noise of what I was looking at I could tell when the white ended, so when the high pitched noise ended, that would mean where the bin would end. Once I could hear the floor again my head told me okay, that's not the bin anymore, that means there's a gap." PROULX, BROWN, AND DELL'ERBA (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF VOICE RESEARCH TEAM, DR MICHAEL PROULX, SENIOR LECTURER IN PSYCHOLOGY AT UNIVERSITY OF BATH, SAYING: "It's true that if you have a retinal implant you do have some experience of vision, you can perceive light to some degree, as you would expect to. However, what's really surprising is the ability to actually use those invasive devices, in some way, to recognise objects or to navigate, (it) still requires a lot of learning and in a lot of ways it's very similar to the amount of learning that's involved in learning to use a device like this." VARIOUS OF VOLUNTEER FINDING MUG ON TABLE
Dateline: 2013

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