Researchers created an AI backpack system to guide visually impaired wearers

Researchers at the University of Georgia have developed a backpack system to help Visually impaired Wearers understand and navigate around them. The backpack uses a Luxonis OK-D special camera, has an on-chip Edge AI processor and uses Intel Running Image processing technology.

The 4K camera, which captures in-depth information as well as color images, is packed inside a vest or bird pack. The system uses Intel’s OpenVino toolkit for interfacing and can run up to eight hours using the pocket-sized battery in the Fanny Pack. The backpack holds a lightweight computer device with a GPS unit.

Researchers say their systems can detect obstacles (including overheads) and wear them through audio prompts to tell where they are. It can read traffic signs and detect changes in altitude. For example, it may notify the wearer that there is a stop sign on the crosswalk, or they may notify them when there is an obstacle in front of them.

A Bluetooth earpiece allows wearers to control the system with their voice. They may ask you to describe the surrounding area or save GPS locations with a specific name.

Researchers plan to make the project open source. They suggest that the system is not objectionable and will not attract attention when used with the public. The downside is carrying a backpack everywhere. Perhaps in the very distant future, researchers will find a way to pack this type of technology into a pair Smart glasses.

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