Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site




Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

OSU Develops 'Smart Paint' to Help the Blind

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

More items for Coating Materials

Comment | More

Researchers based out of Ohio State University have developed “smart paint”—a coating that can help the vision impaired navigate increasingly complex urban spaces safely. The key lies in the connection between what is in the paint and the cane a person uses.

Known as “smart paint for networked cities,” the coating is intended to be detected using a “smart cane,” a modified white cane that detects the unique coating and provides door-to-door guidance.

Smart Paint

Ohio State University is working with a number of other institutions on the project, including the Ohio State School for the Blind and Intelligent Material. OSSB has a collection of previous white cane technologies, which enabled researchers to test and refine what their own product would be capable of. Intelligent Material, on the other hand, has worked with OSU for several years in integrating light-converting oxides into polymeric matrices for specific applications.

© / zlikovec

Researchers based out of Ohio State University have developed “smart paint”—a coating that can help the vision impaired navigate increasingly complex urban spaces safely. The key lies in the connection between what is in the paint and the cane a person uses.

Mary Ball-Swartwout, orientation and mobility specialist at the Ohio State School for the Blind, said the smart paint could be added to the built environment easily, at little extra cost. Smart paint that informs users they have reached their destination may take the form of horizontal stripes along sidewalks, while the paints themselves could also be grey or black or even invisible to sighted pedestrians, but would still be detectable by smart canes.

Josh Collins of Intelligent Materials told Government Technology that the company specializes “in the design and manufacturing of rare-earth doped nanocrystals capable of converting light energy up and down the visible spectrum.” The Intelligent Material technology allows up to parts-per-billion sensitivity of detection.

“Beyond converting ceramics in paint, placing a highly sensitive excitation source and detector package at the tip of a moving white cane is truly novel,” Collins noted.

The technology also holds promise for helping airport ground traffic navigate.

OSU researchers will be preparing for a proposal submission to the National Science Foundation at the end of this month. Currently, several acres of smart paint are applied throughout the city of Columbus.


Tagged categories: Coatings Technology; Research and development; Smart coatings

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

New resins from BASF will have metals loving water!
Excellent corrosion resistance, low VOC, high gloss, thin films 800-231-7868

Carboline Company
New product: Carbozinc® 608 HB
Introducing a new high build zinc-rich primer that can save you time and money by eliminating the epoxy intermediate coat!

Tarps manufacturing, Inc.
QUALITY MADE IN AMERICA —Available near you!
CLICK to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Tarps Manufacturing makes the highest-quality tarps right here in the USA — available nationwide.

Novatek Corporation
Dustless Coatings Removal
Novatek Corporation, Dustless Coatings Removal Strip, clean and profile all dust free! Comply with new lead standards. Contact today: (866) 563-7800

Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America
Performance Amine 1,3-BAC
A highly reactive cycloaliphatic diamine offering superior performance. Reasonable cost and curing efficacy makes it suitable for all types of epoxy resin applications.

ARC / A.W. Chesterton Company
Corrosion Resistant Coating
ARC HT-S incorporates fine graded sizes of reinforcement which contributes to its excellent permeation resistance, resistance to cold-wall delamination, and resistance to thermal-mechanical shock

Jotun Paints Inc.
Jotun Jotachar 1709
Mesh-free passive fire protection epoxy designed to protect against hydrocarbon pool fire scenarios for up to four hours as defined in the ANSI/UL1709 standard.

HoldTight Solutions Inc.
Full Surface Protection for Up to One Year
HT 365 is a preservation, single component, anti-corrosive coating, a water displacing agent, a lubricant, and a penetrating fluid. It creates an imperceptible thin-film coating that offers excellent salt contaminant and humidity protection. Contact your HoldTight® representative or visit for more information.

Modern Safety Techniques
Modern Safety Techniques
With our unique LTCat, we can help to provide clean, safe breathing air to your workers. Take a look at our Breathing Air Systems, we supply at least twice as much charcoal as our competitors! Modern

Industrial Vacuum Equipment Corp.
Hurricane Vacuums
& Dust Collectors
Vacuum and dust collector hose, filters and related accessories.


Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL

The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy Policy (Updated 5/24/2018)   |   Terms & Conditions   |   Support   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us