On Monday Toyota revealed their new project which assists the visually impaired to become more free and independent. This prototype product is beyond a concept and was starting to be tested last year, but it doesn't look like you would think.
Toyota's new Blaid project brings huge advancements to the blind community, this prototype began testing early last year by visually impaired candidates who seem to be impressed by this technology. Toyota has been using the same technology to develop self-driving cars and advanced robotics AI (Artificial Intelligence). Project Blaid is still in its early stages according to Toyota therefore, no release dates or beta testing dates have been released.
Blaid is simply a wearable piece of equipment that a visually impaired user can wear over their shoulders in order to use its intelligent features to navigate around the street and inside a building and also sense signs such as toilets. The equipment works by using buttons on the device to verbally request a specific sign or destination, the equipment will then use vibrations and speakers to direct the visually impaired user to their chosen destination. Toyota has much bigger plans for project Blaid with the hope of adding features such as facial recognition technologies and mapping for navigation.
However, Toyota has focused on making Project Balid a reality and are not ready to talk about implementing the product to masses of people. Toyota's Partner Robotics Manager Doug Moore said, "We've been encouraged by the responses so far and look forward to continuing our collaboration so we can deliver a product the best serves the community's needs." Moore also said, "Our ultimate goal with this project is to develop a wearable device that helps people who are blind and visually impaired do more".