Wearable Serves As A Digital Guide For People With Visual Impairments
The headset concept hopes to remove obstacles met by people with vision impairments
It is estimated that the number of people living with visual impairments will dramatically increase in the next 30 years, a growth fueled mostly by aging baby boomers. Industrial Designer Jorge Paez has designed a concept device called the Nomad that utilizes four LiDAR proximity sensors that are able to detect obstacles that the wearer can’t see.
The Nomad’s proximity sensors are mounted onto a specially designed bone-conducting set of headphones that allows the user to hear what is around them while receiving important navigation information. The device is able to conduct sound through the temples which enables the sharing of information through a series of dings that indicate where an obstacle is. As the obstacle gets closer the dings increase in speed indicating the obstacle’s distance.
In addition to providing information on obstacles the device integrates information from blindsquare, an app similar to Google Maps specifically designed for people with visual impairments. The device and app work seamlessly together with blindsquare providing the best route and ensuring a safe, obstacle-free way to arrive at the destination.
In addition to helping people with visual impairments get around, Nomad has a built-in digital assistant similar to Google Home and Amazon Echo that aids users as they purchase public transportation tickets, and other services. Users are able to have tickets sent to their phone using simple voice commands, making the entire experience seamless.
Devices like Nomad that marry advances in artificial intelligence, smartphone-scanning apps and speech-to-text software will have a significant role to play in advancing the quality of life for people with visual impairments.