Toyota building a device to help the blind

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Japanese auto maker Toyota has designed a mobility device which when worn over a person's shoulders, can help blind and visually impaired people get around more easily.
The device called Project Blaid, is currently a prototype, but when it's ready, it 'will fill the gaps left by canes, guide dogs and basic GPS devices by giving users more information about their surroundings,’ the company explained.

The device works with a camera that detects the surroundings and 'talks' to the user through speakers plus the users will also be able to interact with the device using voice recognition and control buttons.


Toyota plans to develop the device with integrated mapping, object identification and facial recognition functions.
The company announced Project Blaid in a promotional video.
The start of the video shows a visually impaired man with an assistance dog getting up and preparing for his day.
The man narrates the video, discusses how he lost it sight and what it did to his independence and ability to get around.
He then describes how, when indoors, it is difficult to figure out where doors, stairs and elevators are.
The video goes on to show researchers in the Toyota offices sitting at their desks, designing the device.
'This has the ability to transform and change peoples' lives,' one designer says.
Toyota robotic manager Doug Moore says, "Toyota is about more than just the great cars and trucks we build"
‘We believe we have a role to play in addressing mobility challenges, including helping people with limited mobility to do more.
'We believe this project has the potential to enrich the lives of people who are blind and visually impaired,’ he added.
'This is an ongoing project and the device is still in development. We aren’t releasing specific dates yet,' a Toyota spokesman told MailOnline.
'The product is still under development so a discussion of price would be premature, but we are committed to making it affordable for users.'


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