I finally got the glasses. Remember, if you ever want to ship to India, please use a couriering service such as UPS or if you need a less expensive option registered airmail.
My first experience was positive and I could immediately feel the clarity of the image. Yet, the soundscapes did not quite give me the expected shapes. Still, the camera worked and it was now time to put the epoxy or, in my case super glue. Before I did that though the glasses stopped working. I could see a LED glowing and this was detectable using my light probe. I tried plugging and unplugging the glasses from my computer and tried them on my netbook. No go. I then remembered Peter’s point about resetting the glasses. Finding a suitable pin and that little hole with the clickable reset switch was an adventure in itself. I reset the glasses and all was well again. I now have the following setup.
1. MINI DV D008 USB camera sunglasses,
2. An Asus EEE pc. This is one of the earlier models that have come with Windows XP. See the following link for a review.
3. A Plantronics DSP400 headset.
I decided to try something simple for a change. Taking my key from some of Jacob’s posts I put some bottles and glasses on my dining table and tried moving them around. The bottles were taller than the glasses. I could sense the change in height but I had to bend my neck to really see the glasses. I tried positioning the bottles and glasses in different sequences. Something was still wrong since the soundscapes were not sounding the way I imagined them to sound. I then remembered that in my previous setup. I had had to tilt the view by 180 degrees to cater to the way the webcam was mounted. I now set the view rotation to 0 and all was well. I had hit shift+f1 to restore the vOICe to it’s best default settings but that had not changed the rotation. That is a very good design choice since you do not want the rotation reset every time you get the vOICe back to default settings. I repeated my old experiments and found it much easier to make sense of what was a bottle and what was a glass. Along the way, I discovered that I could increase the camera resolution to 600 by something. That was quite a lot of input and got uncomfortable fast. I now have the resolution set to a lower value which is 352 by 288 pixels.
I then moved to my driveway. My gate was clearly visible and I tried to experience perspective. This is going to take more work but things are improving. My garden was interesting. I seem to have some short plants or perhaps grass where I looked. Now, I have my Honda City parked on the left. As you go towards the gate, there is a small space between the side of the car and the wall. You need to walk through this space to reach the gate. So, I tried the experiment of finding that space using only vision and then walking without touching either the wall or the car. I then tried the experiment in reverse so I turned around such that the gate was behind me and tried going towards my house. The experiment was successful but I will need to start trusting my vision. I instinctively reached out to either side to ensure that I was on the right track. Before you ask, the blocking of all other sensory input was a conscious thing. I used no ear muffs or anything it was a matter of telling my brain to rely only on what the vOICe told it.
Next came the grand experiment. My dad asked me to get him a glass of water. He held the glass out towards me. I had seen a glass before so I got the side right but the height wrong. I then carried the filled glass of water back to him. I had toyed with the idea of looking at the water as I was pouring it but gave it up since bending down while tracking the positions of my hands and coordinating the glass and the bottle was too challenging. I filled the glass without mishap and took it back to my father. He held his fingers out for it and this time I got everything correct. However, judging height still needs more work.
A note about the startup sequence of the glasses The netbook that I have is very old and windows XP is not even at service pack 3. So, when I start the netbook, I must hit the power button of the glasses to switch them into camera mode. I can then launch the vOICe. If I do not do this, then I can keep hitting the power button and the glasses will sit there behaving like a drive. I have to reboot the netbook and switch to camera mode before doing anything else.