Toyota’s latest project? Mobility for the blind

This is interesting. The latest concept from Toyota isn’t some crazy, high-tech supercar, or a tiny runabout, but a personal mobility solution for the visually impaired.

Called Project Blaid, the device is designed to fill the gaps left by canes, guide dogs and basic GPS devices by giving users more information about their surroundings.

Worn around the shoulders, Toyota says the device will help people better navigate indoor spaces, such as office buildings and shopping malls, by identifying features such as escalators, stairs, doors and toilet facilities.

A camera detects the user’s surroundings and communicates information through speakers and vibration motors. In turn, the user will be able to interact with the device using voice recognition and control buttons.

Toyota says its plan is to develop the device with integrated mapping, object identification and facial recognition functions.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens with this. As you can see in the promo video below, Blaid is still a long way from being completely ready. Hopefully Toyota doesn’t give up on it, because it could be a total game-changer if it goes into production.



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