Blindness can be caused by several things such as genetics, disease, injury or infection. Individuals with complete blindness or partial vision often have the difficulty of navigating in public spaces, where physical movement is one of the greatest challenges and may require to memorize locations for every familiar obstacle in their environment. As simple as walking in a crowded street is a terrifying experience, which results in them relying on a sighted friend or a family member when navigating unfamiliar places without the freedom of being independent. The concept aims to tackle such challenges with a navigation system that is assisted by AI through LiDAR technology, where the surroundings are scanned and updated in real time for any potential obstacles along the path.
The last 5 years has given us a glimpse of an AI mastered system through the invention of self driving hybrid electric vehicles which are equipped with IoT sensors, specifically LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) a remote sensing mechanism that uses light for accurate depth perception, obstacle sensing and prevention, object size, shape and location determination as well as 3D map and navigation of environment in real time up to a certain range while being connected other LiDAR devices in the environment.
With the idea of implementing a LiDAR device in a white cane, it will constantly navigate the individual in real time through unfamiliar streets with help of AI, that will audibly direct the person through ear device connected to the smart phone. Assumption is that through AI speech assist it would reduce social isolation as well as help the individual walk around in dense public spaces with independence and safety.