Smart vests will help the blind to navigate in space

In the USA, a smart vest was introduced that will help visually impaired people navigate in space. It transmits obstacle data using pressure and vibration.

Researchers at Harvard University have developed a padded robotic vest that uses cameras to guide visually impaired users. Computer vision finds, classifies, and evaluates the movement of objects around the user. The device informs about them using pressure on the user’s body, depending on the distance to obstacles. So they can know in advance that there is a road, a wall, or an approaching person ahead.

Researchers describe the Foresight vest as “discreet, affordable and intuitive.” It uses soft inflatable textiles and vibrations will be soft so as not to frighten the user. At the same time, the materials for production are inexpensive, so they can be mass-produced. If some of the sensors fail, they can be replaced separately.

Scientists planned to make this device in the form of a bracelet, but the vest allows you to more effectively monitor the surrounding space, and then issue tactile commands in real-time via Bluetooth. The engineers plan that the product will be supported by all current smartphones, but these devices must be able to process AI data.

The Foresight team is currently working on improving both software and environmental sensors. The release date and price of the device are still unknown. Scientists want to complete development by 2021.