Just as car GPS units have allowed drivers to explore the unknown without fear of becoming lost, this 3D braille GPS is designed to help the visually impaired break out of their routine, by finding new places to visit.
The Brainovi uses a combination of spoken directions relayed over a Bluetooth wireless earpiece, and a physical 3D map created on the pin matrix surface of the Brainovi. The user can enter their destination verbally, and the Brainovi calculates the route.
This sounds like an great idea, but I have a couple of concerns. Visually impaired people walking alone almost always use a cane to "feel" their way around obstacles, and it will be hard to do this while reading the Brainovi at the same time. Additionally, the mapping databases used in GPS units were mostly developed by companies like Navteq for drivers using roads, and I wonder how well they will work for pedestrian use.
The Brainovi concept was developed by Korean designers Seung-Hyun Yoon, Seol-Hee Son & Ji-Youn Kim.