Two forerunner models of SeebyTouch,
called VTD (virtual tactile display), were developed in 2001/2002 as a
at Kirchhoff Institute for Physics at the University of Heidelberg.
They were tested
by blind learners of the school for blind people in Ilvesheim.
While the first version had a low resolution and a fixed construction of trackage,
the second version provided a higher resolution and a more flexible guiding
by parallel trusses. However, there was still a separate electronical unit necessary.
Further development aimed at making the tactile vision substitution system
more compact and
easier to transport.
This task could be realized by integrating the electronics into the device
and by using trusses of aluminium. Using standard components keeps costs low.
Thus SeebyTouch is affordable for users.
In order to copyright the idea of SeebyTouch,
a patent for the tactile vision substitution system was filed at the
German patent office
on 12th May 2002 and registered as a petty patent on 5th December 2002.