Intel’s RealSense technology is being used in a wearable prototype to help people with low or no vision. The efforts started last August in a small lab inside the company’s headquarters but eventually turned out to be a promising portable prototype that has the capability to support blind and vision-impaired people and help them to have a better sense of their surroundings, says a blog post.
Useful technology from Intel
Intel’s RealSense 3D camera technology is fitted into an environmental sensing system and was launched at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Intel CEO Brain Krzanich suggested that 39 million blind people across the world and 250 million people with impaired vision could draw major benefits from this technology. The Intel CEO described RealSense as a technology that works in real-time dynamics and can help in avoiding obstacles nearby, along with assessing the emotions of people with the help of facial recognition.
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Darryl Adams, a technical project manager at Intel who was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa almost 30 years ago, was invited by Krzanich to com onto the stage. Adams is suffering from a deficiency of the photoreceptors in his eye, which is taking a toll on his peripheral vision and ability to see in dim light or at night. Adams got emotional on the stage and explained how the new technology will help him. According to experts, it was the most useful technology showcased during the keynote.
Many minds at work
Rajiv Mongia, director of the RealSense Interaction Design Group, said, “If we can bring vision to PCs and tablets, why not use that same technology to help people see?”
Mongia said this while he was talking about Intel’s RealSense technology, which will be available in the new computing device hitting the market. Other members of the team who are working on a human-computer interface, human factors and prototyping are Chandrika Jayant, Robert Cooksey and Sarang Borude, who are focusing on finding neutral, intuitive and extensive ways to use RealSense 3D camera technology.
To get the RealSense technology to work on a human body, Mongia and his team had to design customized clothing fitted with the camera and a computing module that connects wirelessly to eight thumb-sized vibrating sensors, including three across the chest, three across the torso and two near the ankles of each leg.