Car giant Toyota is branching out into the world of wearable technology by inventing a scarf that helps the blind navigate indoors.
The newly announced Project BLAID sets out to help the blind and visually impaired using a lightweight, thin, horseshoe-shaped scarf that detects signs, obstacles and pathways to help people safely find their way around. The scarf is equipped with cameras that pick up on features of a room that are crucial for navigation such as doorways, exit signs and bathrooms.
BLAID scans each new environment and then gives the user an understanding of the layout of the area through speakers, vibration and touch. The inbuilt voice recognition technology then allows you to state your destination and be guided there safely.
The engineering team is also looking at developing facial recognition software and object identification as part of their aim to offer more independence and freedom for blind people to explore new places.
This design is still in the early stages with no news yet as to when it will become available or what the price will be, but it’s certainly an exciting step forward for wearable technology.