[tabi] App developer hopes to use Google Glass to help the blind see.

  • From: K4NKZ Jim <k4nkz@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: tabi <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2013 18:37:38 -0400

----- Original Message -----
Hi All,

Appended is an article that appeared today on geek.com.

Best wishes,
Peter Meijer
The vOICe for Android

App developer hopes to use Google Glass to help the blind see.
Mar. 20, 2013 (10:29 am) By: Russell Holly.
A big point of interest with Google’s latest piece of technology is how it
can be used to better help physically injured or disabled people interact with the world around them. One developer in particular hopes to use Google Glass to
bring sight to the blind with an app he has already made successfully on

There’s tons and tons of research every year that goes into using sound to help the blind. Camera technology has evolved to a point where a sonar-like interface can be constructed that offers an inexpensive way to “see” objects directly in front of someone. There’s even an app for this, which runs reasonably well on Android currently. With an Android phone and a decent pair of headphones, you can use the vOICe app to hear the world around you as it is captured by the camera. The most obvious problem with holding your phone out in front of you to “see” is that you’re occupying one of your hands in the process.

Despite the existence of wearable cameras on the market that communicate
with Android already, such as the Looxcie camera, there’s not been a wearable one on the market yet with open APIs for this developer to take advantage
Looxcie’s ecosystem is just about entirely closed, though the inexpensive Bluetooth camera would have been perfect for this application. There’s also the soon to be released Vuzix headset, which has a mounted camera but relies on using the projector screen on the unit with your phone to control the native
operating system. There’s hope, however, with Google Glass.
Glass will offer the head mounted camera needed to get the job done, and the platform for Glass will allow it to run standalone from the unit itself instead of connecting to a phone. Unfortunately, Google Glass doesn’t produce the 3D sound necessary for the way the current app works. If you listen to the demo
video with stereo headphones, you’ll hear what I mean.

Glass uses bone conduction to transfer audio directly to the inner ear,
instead of relying on a headphone jack. In order for this app to work, the developer will either need to come up with a new sight to sound translation system, or the app will only work when paired with an Android phone. As soon as the Glass Explorer program starts shipping developer units, we’ll know
more about how open this hardware platform is to developers.

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Have A Nice Day, From, K4NKZ Jim B.D.T.B.

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