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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Wearable Aid for People with Low Vision
People with low vision usually rely on dogs or canes to detect obstacles at ground level. But what about higher ones such as street signs or tree branches? Computer scientists at the University of Washington think they have the answer, according to this IEEE Pervasive Computing article (PDF format, 4 pages, 390 KB). They've designed a cheap wearable device which alerts visually impaired people that they're about to hit an inanimate object.

Their prototype device consists mainly of a video camera mounted on headset glasses and a laptop carried in a backpack which uses specialized software to detect potential collisions. The device, which is still in an experimental stage, should cost less than $1,000, but weighs about 15 pounds, so I'm not sure if it will ever turn into in a commercial product. Read more for other details and a picture of one of the patients testing the equipment.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 7:35 AM Comments (0)
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