New AI Backpack System For Guiding Vision-impaired Wearers

Researchers at the University of Georgia recently developed a backpack system to assist vision-impaired wearers navigate their environment better. The backpack uses a Luxonis OAK-D spatial camera, with an on-chip edge AI processor and uses Intel’s Movidius image processing technology.

The 4K camera captures depth information and color images, and is packed inside a fanny pack or vest. The system makes use of Intel’s OpenVINO toolkit for inferencing and it may run for eight hours, using a small battery located in the fanny pack. The backpack also contains a lightweight computing device with a GPS unit.

The researchers claim their system can detect obstacles, including overhead ones and inform the wearer of their location through audio prompts. It can also read traffic signs and detect changes in elevation.

A Bluetooth earpiece lets the wearer control the system with voice commands. They may request that it describes their surroundings or save GPS locations with a particular name.

The researchers have plans to open source the project. They believe the system is inconspicuous and unobtrusive. The only visible downside is having to carry a a backpack everywhere you go.

By Marvellous Iwendi.

Source: Engadget