Google has introduced a new feature for visually impaired runners to help them compete. It requires a camera and a special program.
Google is testing an artificial intelligence (AI) system designed to help blind and visually impaired people race on their own. This project, which is an early stage of the research program, is an attempt to give people more independence. They do not need to rely on a person or guide dog to help them along the way.
As noted by the VentureBeat edition, to use the system, the runner attaches the phone to Android – the device wraps it around the waist. The Project Guideline app can use your phone’s camera to track your course. It then sends bone conduction-based audio signals when the runner deviates from the course line – the sound will be louder depending on how far the runner deviates from the course. The app does not need an internet connection to work, it can take into account light and weather conditions.
Google developed the system with the help of Thomas Panek, president, and CEO of Guiding Eyes for the Blind for runners. The company seeks to team up with other organizations to create courses for athletes facing restrictions.
In recent years, the company has introduced several other features to help blind and visually impaired people. Detailed voice directions on Google Maps can help them navigate the city on their own. The AI of the Chrome browser can recognize images and provide an audio description of them. At the same time, Google Lookout can alert users if there are obstacles in their path and read documents aloud.