X-Men device Developed To help Blind People ‘See’

heading level 1 Move over white cane — Australian engineers have developed a device that can help the blind and vision impaired navigate the world.

The device uses lasers to help identify non protruding obstacles in a user’s path.

IT ALL sounds a bit X-Men. Giving people extra powers and senses to control the world around them.

But researchers at the University of Melbourne think they may have just done that with a new device they say could revolutionise daily life for blind and vision-impaired people. It’s so effective the new technology could become as every day a sight as the white cane. Engineers have developed a prototype for an electronic device that can identify the obstacles white canes can’t pick up. When the obstacle is identified, the blind or vision-impaired user is then warned of its proximity.The prototype developed at Melbourne University uses a series of cameras and lasers to scan the ground around the user searching out dents, dips and drop-offs. An auditory or vibrating alert is then sent to the user so they can avoid the potential pitfall.The next step is to miniaturise the prototype, refine the lasers so they effectively work under all light conditions and ensure the cameras can process the data being sent to it about obstacles as swiftly as the person relying on it can walk into them. The aim to make the final device as cheap and portable as possible so it can be as easily used as the long white cane.

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