Science

Windows For The Blind

Windows software, that is.  Microsoft recently revealed a new device that better enables the blind to navigate cities.  The new ear-piece matches with Windows phones and describes urban routes to a blind persons.  It combines existing navigational information and “information beacons” installed along routes.  The software/device combo can provide details that make traveling safer such as indicating the existence of “parked cars” or “low tree branches.”  The software piggy-backs on programs previously developed for cyclists.  In the future, developers hope the devices can tap into information stored in a “cloud” which would enlarge the coverage of the device and shedding the requirement of “information beacons” to provide enhanced descriptive information.

Lady wearing a headset

(Trial run of the device interfacing with a bus stop information beacon. Image Credit: BBC)

Never fear Seeing Eye Dogs!  The new device has been developed with their assistance in mind.  In fact, Guide Dogs is one of the leading researchers of the project.

Find the whole article here, at the BBC.

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