Tools & Technologies

Blind Navigation – from Microsoft

Tom writes on The Verge about Microsoft’s work to help visually impaired people navigate through cities:

Microsoft blindfolded me and led me around several streets before leaving me on the ledge of a freezing cold canal in London yesterday. Not in the interest of torturing me, or product secrecy; it was simply the best way to transport me to a reality that 39 million people face daily: blindness. For millions of blind and visually-impaired people, venturing out of the house can be a dangerous and daunting task. Microsoft is aiming to change this with 3D Audio technology and a smart headset the software giant is trialling in the UK.

Microsoft’s system works by creating a 3D-soundscape of audio that’s transmitted through your jaw bone. You wear a bone conduction headset that pairs to a smartphone that can pick up nearby beacons and guide you around.

Impressive, and I’m sure it will have implications / possibilities beyond blind and visually impaired people too.

Read more: Microsoft had to blindfold me so I could hear the future

Categories: Tools & Technologies

2 replies »

  1. I am curious how this might people who have navigation impairments because of cognitive issues associated with TBI (like my daughter). Notwithstanding, a guide/service dog for some is as much about the companionship as it is about the navigation, and technology can’t fix that:-(