Kinect to help the blind 'see' in augmented reality

Mar 18, 2011 by Katie Gatto weblog
Kinect to help the blind 'see' in augmented reality

(PhysOrg.com) -- It seems like there are no shortage of uses for the Kinect system. The device, which was initially created by Microsoft as an add-on to its popular Xbox 360 video game console, to allow users to ditch the controller, has been getting around. Now, it has been integrated into a system designed to help the blind.

The system in question, which was designed by graduate students at the Universität Konstanz in Germany, has been dubbed the NAVI, or Navigational Aids for the Visually Impaired.

NAVI works something like this. The infrared camera from a Kinect system is mounted to a helmet that can be worn by a bilnd person. The visual data from that camera is turned into a set of audio instructions that are then transmitted to the wearer via a wireless headset. The system also features a standard camera added as well, allowing for a kind of three-camera stereoscopic vision. Certain items, such as door, will trigger events, such as a countdown, to prevent users from walking into the aforementioned door, in a kind of .

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

The goal is to be able to give a blind person warnings about potential obstructions and directions to navigate in set spaces, at a longer distance than the current systems in place. Though this reporter for one, thinks that a will be much more of a supplement to seeing eye dogs than a replacement for them.

The system is also paired with a vibro-tactile arduino system in the belt, that will most likely act as a warning system, should an obstacle come perilously close to the user. No plans for commercial release of the system have been mentioned at this time.

Explore further: Government wants to make cars talk to each other (Update)

More information: hci.uni-konstanz.de/blog/2011/03/15/navi/?lang=en

Related Stories

Microsoft to release a free SDK for Kinect this spring

Feb 22, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Kinect, Microsoft's attempt to bring motion controls to the Xbox 360 video game console, is soon to have a non-commercial SDK released for it that will hopefully allow third-party developers ...

Consumer Reports: Kinect not 'racist'

Nov 05, 2010

(AP) -- Looking to debunk a report that Microsoft's new motion-sensing video game controller might be racist, Consumer Reports says it found no evidence that Kinect has problems recognizing users with darker skin.

Microsoft sells one million Kinects in 10 days

Nov 16, 2010

Microsoft said it sold one million Kinect motion-sensing controllers for the Xbox 360 videogame console in 10 days and is on pace to sell five million by the end of the year.

Recommended for you

Hitchhiking robot reaches journey's end in Canada

3 hours ago

A chatty robot with an LED-lit smiley face sent hitchhiking across Canada this summer as part of a social experiment reached its final destination Thursday after several thousand kilometers on the road.

Microsoft to unveil new Windows software

3 hours ago

A news report out Thursday indicated that Microsoft is poised to give the world a glimpse at a new-generation computer operating system that will succeed Windows 8.

Music site SoundCloud to start paying artists

5 hours ago

SoundCloud said Thursday that it will start paying artists and record companies whose music is played on the popular streaming site, a move that will bring it in line with competitors such as YouTube and Spotify.

The ethics of driverless cars

6 hours ago

Jason Millar, a PhD Candidate in the Department of Philosophy, spends a lot of time thinking about driverless cars. Though you aren't likely to be able to buy them for 10 years, he says there are a number ...

User comments : 0