Latest in Tomorrow

Image credit: Engadget

AR technology helps the blind navigate by making objects 'talk'

You could walk through unfamiliar areas using a headset to find your way.
552 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Engadget

If you're blind, finding your way through a new area can sometimes be challenging. In the future, though, you might just need to wear a headset. Caltech researchers have developed a Cognitive Augmented Reality Assistant (CARA) that uses Microsoft's HoloLens to make objects "talk" to you. CARA uses computer vision to identify objects in a given space and say their names -- thanks to spatialized sound, you'll know if there's a chair in front of you or a door to your right. The closer you are, the higher the pitch of an object's voice.

This could quickly become overwhelming, so the team created a trio of modes modes. The most intuitive option, spotlight mode, has objects speak their names only when you're looking at them. If you'd rather get a sense of what the room is like before moving, a scan mode will name everything in view of the HoloLens' cameras. And if you have somewhere specific to be, a target mode lets you focus on just one object.

The technology is very young and not particularly accessible when it requires an expensive AR headpiece. Early results are promising, at least. Scientists conducted successful tests where blind volunteers found their way through a Caltech building using CARA to tell them where to turn, where the stairs were and even when there were hand rails. In the long-term, the goal is to make CARA-equipped headsets useful in many places. You could visit a store for the first time and navigate the aisles as if you're a regular.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
552 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

US Senators ask the FCC to review licenses with China-owned telecoms

US Senators ask the FCC to review licenses with China-owned telecoms

View
Verizon could carry OnePlus phones beginning in 2020

Verizon could carry OnePlus phones beginning in 2020

View
Pokémon’s New York-inspired monsters join 'Pokémon Go' today

Pokémon’s New York-inspired monsters join 'Pokémon Go' today

View
FCC approves Nexstar’s $6.4 billion acquisition of Tribune Media

FCC approves Nexstar’s $6.4 billion acquisition of Tribune Media

View
Apple Arcade is available early for some iOS 13 beta users

Apple Arcade is available early for some iOS 13 beta users

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr