Tech to help blind people navigate… and perform yoga

smart_glassesA pair of “smart glasses” being developed by researchers at Oxford University could help blind people in unfamiliar surroundings. The majority of people registered as blind have some residual ability to perceive light and motion. With this in mind, the team are developing glasses with mini cameras on either side which detect objects. Enhanced images are then displayed on the lenses. In addition, the cameras can detect how far an object is from the wearer by comparing the distance between the cameras. A set of headphones also takes text and translates it into speech to provide directions or read signs aloud.

The researchers hope to develop software to provide a range of other potentially useful functions. For example, the glasses could use levels of brightness to show depth. They could detect if a person is present based on his or her movement. In addition they could read locations and bus numbers and provide GPS directions via the headphones. You can read more about it at Discovery News.

Meanwhile, a team of University of Washington computer scientists has created a software program for people who are blind and want to make sure that their yoga positions are correct. The program, called Eyes-Free Yoga, uses Microsoft Kinect software to track body movements and offer auditory feedback in real time for six yoga poses.

Previous related TTA news items: How blind people are reinventing the iPhone and Google Glass-type extra help for the vision impaired

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