Being visually impaired does not mean that life is over, far from it, but it does become an issue if you would like to find your way around some place quickly, efficiently, and as safely as possible. Well, Toyota – a name that is normally associated with cars, is proud to announce a new project which will enter the beta testing phase soon, which will be known as Project BLAID.

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Basically, Project BLAID boils down to this – it is a wearable mobility device that will assist the blind as well as visually impaired. This is not the first time that Toyota has taken a foray into the world of personal mobility devices, as we checked out the Toyota Winglet at CEATEC three years back, even taking it for a test drive.

As for Project BLAID, it will not overlap existing tools and aids for the visually impaired, but rather, will fill whatever gaps left by canes, service dogs, in addition to GPS devices. All that the user needs to do is to wear the device around their shoulders, and said device will rely on cameras to see what’s around the user. All that visual information will be processed before providing navigational instructions to the user through audio instructions and vibrations.

It is also useful for those who are in a store or an office building, as it makes hunting down the likes of restrooms and elevators in double quick time. Toyota hopes to improve on Project BLAID by integrate additional functionalities down the road such as mapping, facial recognition, and object identification. [Press Release]

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