I recently read about how a young Helen Keller grasped the concept of a word for the first time when she felt water running through one of her hands, while her teacher helped her sign the word “water” with the other hand. What joy it must have been for young Helen that day! Well, the blind are able to read through Braille, but they do need some aid in getting around places simply because the lack of sight has proven to be quite the inconvenience in this modern world. Good thing technology is always here to help advance the cause of mankind on the whole, and Fujitsu and NICT have teamed up to work on an indoor navigation system for the blind.

This is made possible via an ultrawideband-based (UWB) impulse radio, where a slew of UWB radios are specially positioned around a room in order gauge the distance between one another, followed by transmitting this particular data over to a computer. In turn, this data will be translated into speech, “talking” to the user via an Android-powered device (although I am sure that other operating systems will be supported in the future). Spoken directions are based on a 12-o’clock system, making it more refined than a standard issue GPS system. Sometimes, I feel the directionally challenged sighted folks like yours truly could also do well with something like this… [Press Release]

Filed in Gadgets. Read more about Fujitsu.

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