Toyota have proven in the past their dedication to innovation and improvement of lives even beyond the automotive industry in the past. Now they have announced they are joining the ranks of Microsoft and countless scientists out to give the blind a better understanding of the world around them. Named Project BLAID, Toyota have developed a shoulder-mounted piece of wearable technology with built-in cameras that are capable of detecting a number of everyday indoor features such as stairs, doors and even the signs for toilets.
The system is controlled through a number of voice commands and communicates information on what it sees back to its wearer via a combination of audible and haptic cues. This allows it to enhance the mobility of the blind and partially inside buildings, by allowing them to effectively tell the device where they wish to go and then be subtly led towards their goal, without the need for pre-placed beacons or other external factors.
Project BLAID is far from complete too, with the technology still yet to enter beta testing, which is planned for the near future. Toyota believes there is much more that can be done with Project BLAID too, with the company planning to add a number of ambitious new features to the device, with “mapping, objection identification and facial recognition technologies” set to be included in the future.