Toyota’s Project BLAID: New Wearable Device for the Blind

Toyota recently announced that it was working on a wearable device for the blind and partially sighted to give them a better understanding of their surroundings.

Wearable device for the blind

As scientists continue to make significant gains with regard to treating visual impairments, technology promises to help the partially sighted and blind achieve greater independence with companies like Microsoft at the forefront.

Toyota too has joined the ranks and is developing assistive technology under “Project BLAID”. The company has announced that it is developing a shoulder-worn device with cameras that can detect doors, stairs, restroom signs, and a number of other common features found in indoor spaces.

This device will be controlled using voice commands, and relays information back to the wearer through audio and haptic (changes in intensity, frequency, and number of vibrations) cues. This essentially means that the device will be able to guide blind and partially sighted users around buildings more easily without requiring strategically placed beacons – as with many other assistive technologies in this space.

Although Project BLAID is still in its early stages, Toyota intends to start beta testing in the near future, and even expand the feature set with objection identification, facial technologies, and mapping in due course.

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