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App to help visually impaired detect obstacles


London, May 25 :

In a ray of hope for visually impaired, researchers have developed an app that uses a smart phone’s camera to detect obstacles and produces a vibration or tone to alert the user.

Now, they are developing a version for Google Glass that could hit the market in 2015.

In experiments with over nine participants who had visual impairment, as they got closer to obstacle, the frequency of vibrations or sound level increased.

But Google Glass could actually be a more convenient device for using the app than a smart phone.

“The camera is much more stable on the head than any other part of the body. That improves the results for all vision algorithms because the camera swings much less,” said researchers from University of Alicante in Spain.

This is how it works.

As the subjects walks, the camera picks up on objects.

When the app calculates that an object is closer than about six feet, the phone vibrates or sounds a tone, the study, published in the IEEE Journal of Biomedical Health Informatics, noted.