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Will this horseshoe-shaped device help the blind navigate indoors?

The device, called Project BLAID, is being developed by Toyota and could allow the blind and visually impaired to navigate indoor areas.

Image: Toyota

TOYOTA IS BEST KNOWN for its cars but it’s focusing on a different case of getting people from point A to B.

Its engineers are developing a new wearable product called Project BLAID, which could help both the blind and visually impaired navigate indoor areas.

The horseshoe-shaped device, which is wrapped around your shoulders, can scan the environment they’re in by using built-in cameras. It can also detect objects like stairs, elevators, exit signs and logos.

It communicates to users through vibrations and speakers, and can be controlled using voice commands and buttons. It’s also working on including facial recognition software as well as mapping and identifying specific objects.

Currently, the device is still in development and will enter beta testing soon but it follows a long line of large companies which are working on features designed to help those with disabilities or impaired to navigate the world and services.

Source: Toyota USA/YouTube

One such collaboration headed by Microsoft was a headset that uses sensors to create a ’3D soundscape’ which helps the blind to navigate the area they’re in.

Also, Facebook showed off its plans to help the blind and visually impaired on its site using artificial intelligence (AI). Since photos are a major part of the site, it’s developed a system where users can ask it questions about the photos and have it described back to them, even if the system never saw it before.

Read: This is what reading looks like when you have dyslexia >

Read: You can trick a smartphone fingerprint scanner in just 15 minutes with a printer >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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