IIT-Gandhinagar students develop device to block sun glare, prevent accidents
Two students of IIT-Gandhinagar have come up with an innovative device that can address one of the many causes of road accidents - obscured vision due to sun glare. Souritra Garai and Jay Shah, second-year chemical engineering degree students at the IIT, developed an electronic device called "Smart Sun Visor" that can help drivers by blocking sun glare and prevent road accidents. Here's more.
Smart Sun Visor can improve driving comfort and safety
On most sunny days, the harsh and bright sunlight rays not only impair vision but also cause accidents. While sunglasses offer some comfort and protection, there aren't the most effective. So, Garai and Shah developed a device to improve driving comfort and safety as well. Smart Sun Visor, when placed on a car's windshield, can shield the driver from sudden or bright sunlight.
Device intercepts sunlight before it strikes driver's eyes: Garai
"Our invention actively tracks the sun and positions a small disc of light-filtering material on the brightest area of the windshield, intercepting sunlight before it strikes the driver's eyes," said Garai. "The filter is small, semi-transparent, and discreet, with a very small footprint on the windshield, effectively blocking sunlight without obscuring the rest of the windshield or the driver's field of view," he added.
Device allows for greater visibility than other solutions: Garai
Talking further about the device, Garai said, "This allows for far greater visibility than other solutions like sunglasses (that reduce all light) or standard car visors (that completely block a portion of the windshield)." Garai and Shah came up with the Smart Sun Visor at the "Invent@IITGN", which is a six-week annual summer program conducted at IIT-Gandhinagar.
Shah explains how the Smart Sun Visor works
Explaining about the device, Shah said, "Installation and calibration is simple. A one-time adjustment is made when a new driver uses Smart Visor." "The driver manually positions the filter such that it blocks the sun...then Smart Visor takes over, intercepting sunlight regardless of which direction the car turns," he said. It will be more helpful to people with sensitive or light-colored eyes, he said.
Garai, Shah also applied for a patent for the device
While developing the Smart Sun Visor, Garai and Shah worked on as many as 30 prototypes before getting it right. The IIT-Gandhinagar students have also applied for a patent for the innovative device. "While the prototype costs us about Rs. 5,000 to make, it will cost much lesser once it goes into commercial-scale production," Garai told The Better India.
Device shuts down automatically when not in use
The Smart Sun Visor is attached to the car's dashboard with the help of suction cups and is powered by USB charging port. It consists of sensors, a microcontroller, an electric motor, and an extendable arm made of transparent material, which moves the filter to follow the sun. The device covers only 4% of the windshield and automatically shuts down when not in use.