The boffins at Ishikawa-Namiki Komuro Laboratory are working on a device that will allow "optical-hair modules" to provide spatial information via haptic cues. The modules will be able to process information and then pass this onto "vibro-tactile" units, which would be placed directly on the skins surface.
Essentially, this means a suit containing the sensors could be worn as a secondary skin, this would then relay feedback signals to the (real) skin's surface when an obstruction is detected. The scientists claim that the device they are developing will have much in common with similar biological structures such as cellular cilia, insect antennae and sensory mammalian whiskers.
The technology hopes to be implemented to aid those with visual impairment, as well as those who work in potentially hazardous environments. Finally, we shall have the superhero senses we have dreamed of/earned by blogging rights. [Ishikawa-Namiki Komuro via Techdigest]