People who are vision impaired might have a hard time getting around as they might not be able to see or might have a hard time seeing, especially if they’re going to some place new that they’re not familiar with. However, researchers at the University of Georgia have created a backpack system powered by AI that can help guide people around.
The backpack comes with a Luxonis OAK-D spatial camera that features an AI processor and uses Intel’s Movidius image processing engine. The camera will be capable of capturing high resolution images in color and can also process depth information, and can be used to detect things like obstacles, read traffic signs, detect changes in elevation, and can also prompt users where to go.
If this sounds familiar, because at least in concept, it is similar to the technology that powers self-driving cars, which will need to know things around it and if there are obstacles in the way. The system created by the researchers also comes with a Bluetooth earpiece that helps the user control it using their voice, ask it to describe the surroundings, and also save GPS locations.
The researchers are planning to make the project open source so that it can be further developed by others. Given that the system exists inside a backpack, it makes it less obvious and easier to bring around.