Google Award Funds Mobile Technology to Help Blind People See

A research team at the Centre for Autonomous Systems at the University of Lincoln, UK, is developing a smart vision system to help blind people use their mobile devices navigating unfamiliar environments.

With funding provided by a Google Faculty Research Award, project lead Dr. Nicola Bellotto plans to take advantage of the more advanced colour and depth sensing technology in new smartphone designs for an object recognition and 3D mapping system that can send the information to users either through sound, vibration, or spoken descriptions of the objects.

Dr. Bellotto says there are advantages to using smartphones over currently available visual aids. “If people were able to use technology embedded in devices such as smartphones, it would not require them to wear extra equipment which could make them feel self-conscious.”

The team is collaborating with machine learning experts at Google to develop a system which can adapt to the experiences of the individual user.

Further information: http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/news/2015/06/1110.asp

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