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Hardware Technology

EyeRing Could Help Blind People See Objects 31

Posted by samzenpus
from the radar-finger dept.
cylonlover writes "Generally speaking, the vast majority of augmented reality applications that enhance the world around us by overlaying digital content on images displayed on smartphone, tablet or computer screens are aimed squarely at the sighted user. A team from the Fluid Interfaces Group at MIT's Media Lab has developed a chunky finger-worn device called EyeRing that translates images of objects captured through a camera lens into aural feedback to aid the blind."
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EyeRing Could Help Blind People See Objects

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  • by icebike (68054) * on Monday August 13, 2012 @06:30PM (#40978403)

    Somebody send Geordi La Forge over there to straighten those people out.
    Nobody is going thru life poking their finger every which way, even blind people realize how dumb that looks.

    Hell even Google's got the camera on glasses figured out, and you can do a earbud or cochlear implant if you still insist on doing sound waves.

    • by jhoegl (638955)
      RTFA shows that it is for reading not for walking down the street.
      It uses a camera, an android app, OCR, and text-to-speech technology to aid the blind.
      • by jhoegl (638955)
        Crap... I guess it can be used for that.
        So much for my speed reading skills.
        Anyways, complaint still invalid, as this is a prototype. No reason it couldnt be mounted elsewhere.
      • by icebike (68054) * on Monday August 13, 2012 @06:36PM (#40978461)

        I read TFA, its still a clunky, hackerish and unrealistic approach. There is far better technology out there, and I;m no longer impressed just because someone managed to use Android.

        • by inputdev (1252080)

          I read TFA, its still a clunky, hackerish and unrealistic approach. There is far better technology out there, and I;m no longer impressed just because someone managed to use Android.

          I concur - especially when they really should simply be using the phone itself - I don't see how adding an accessory (camera + bluetooth) is any better than holding the phone.
          also - I thought it was pretty funny that the only information the guy used to buy a shirt was that it was gray and $27.

    • by Meshach (578918)

      Somebody send Geordi La Forge over there to straighten those people out. Nobody is going thru life poking their finger every which way, even blind people realize how dumb that looks.

      Hell even Google's got the camera on glasses figured out, and you can do a earbud or cochlear implant if you still insist on doing sound waves.

      The article says that these are just a proof of concept: tight now the device only can identify currency, text, pricing information on tags, and colors. The idea is that it can be used to develop the glasses to give the blind information about their surroundings.

    • by Tablizer (95088)

      Nobody is going thru life poking their finger every which way

      It's standard commuting behavior around here.
       

    • by Tokah (859694)
      Actually, there's good reason for using something that slips on a finger. Aiming a camera at something you can't see with your head would be a lot of trouble. Exploring things by touch is much easier and more accurate. Take the price tag reader, how would you know if the tag it was reading was attached to the shirt you were considering without feel? It could be reading the price for a different product right next to it. Until we can read data straight into our visual cortexes, I think a smaller version of s
  • by Dwedit (232252) on Monday August 13, 2012 @06:40PM (#40978497) Homepage

    This sounds like the perfect opportunity to throw in OCR. Recognize a printed sheet of paper, or anything else with words on it, then read it back to someone, or do something else with the text. Perhaps even translate it. Maybe even someone who isn't blind could benefit from that.

  • As computer vision and hardware evolve, life might get better and better for the blind. That is, until bionic eyes become a possibility :)

    • by danlip (737336)

      Bionic eyes already exist and are tested in humans. The resolution sucks (less than 600 pixels) but I could see a hybrid solution - 600 pixels could easily be enough to aim the camera where you want, blink, and then the external camera and software could use OCR to read the text to you.

  • by slew (2918) on Monday August 13, 2012 @07:26PM (#40978905)

    Targetting the blind with this kind of product misses the bigger audience that might want to have eyes on the back of their head...

    For example, I'm sure the police, military or the even firemen would be interested in something like that, then they can amortized the development costs to provide a version for blind folks pointing forward at an even lower cost.

    Someday, maybe even sharks will be interested in it (when they get that version with the embedded laser)...

  • And I thought a nose ring sounded painful... Yikes.

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