EyeRing gives the blind a new way of seeing objects

first_imgDeveloped by a team called Fluid Interfaces at MIT’s Media Lab, EyeRing hopes to aid blind people by recognizing object details for them.To use it, the wearer simply points at an object and says what they want to know into a microphone, which is attached to their earphones. For example, if they want to know the color of something they point at it, say “color” into the microphone, and then press the button on the side of the ring. The camera on the ring then takes a picture and sends that image to a smartphone via Bluetooth.Installed on the smartphone is a custom Android app that processes the image using computer-vision algorithms according to what mode the user selected, which in this scenario would be color. A text-to-speech module then feeds back to the user the answer they require via their earphones plugged into the smartphone. The whole system seems pretty quick with the users receiving a response to their question almost instantly.EyeRing’s casing was made using 3D-printed ABS nylon. Inside a 3.7v Li-on battery provides power to a VGA camera, 16MHz AVR processor, and Bluetooth module . There’s also a mini USB port for charging the battery and reprogramming the device.Not only can the camera identify currency, color, text, and pricing, it can also be used as a replacement for canes. When two images are taken the ring can work out the distance between the two objects and creates a 3D map of the surrounding area.Sadly, the EyeRing is only a prototype and commercial development is at least two years away. Currently, Fluid Interfaces is working on an iOS version of EyeRing and in the future they are hoping to make the system identify a much wider range of objects and features by the inclusion of more sensors.More at MIT, via Gizmaglast_img read more