Image Credit: [Institute for AI, University of Georgia/ShoeMedia]

University of Georgia Researchers have created a backpack that can blind people navigate their environment. The backpack is equipped with a Luxonis OAK-D spatial camera. This camera uses an on-chip AI processor and makes use of Intel’s Movidius image processing tech.

The camera has a 4K image sensor that can also capture depth information. The system uses the Intel OpenVINO toolkit for inferencing and it can last for around 8 hours on a charge. The backpack contains a GPS module and a lightweight computing device to do the heavy lifting.

This backpack navigation system is capable of detecting obstacles and it can even tell the wearer where they are through the use of audio messages.

Also, it can read traffic signs and identify changes in elevation. So, this backpack will be able to inform the wearer that there’s a stop sign near a crosswalk. It can also let them know when they are about to trip over a curb.

To complete the system, a Bluetooth earpiece is included to provide the wearer with voice control over the system.

For example, the user could ask the backpack to describe the environment or save GPS locations with a specific name.

The creators of the backpack plan to open source it. The system has been designed to not be obtrusive, so you won’t have to worry about attracting unwanted attention while using it in public.

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