Visual to Audio Conversion Device for the Blind
PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To help blind persons to better orient to, and/or navigate through and within their environments; to read text, and recognize people, objects, and environmental circumstances or conditions.
SOLUTION: This device converts video signal from the prospective viewpoint of the blind user, into a corresponding voice recognition or translation of persons, objects and even text, transmitting it to the user via ear phone.
The »BlinX« is comprised of a frame (1) that is worn like a pair of eye (or sun) glasses. It is fitted with a miniature camera (2) and ear phones on one side (3). The blind cane / walking stick (4) has a signal processing chip built-in (5), and is fitted with a special alarm handle (6), replaceable battery (7) and the I/O button (8). Additional processing power and memory capacity can be added by wirelessly linking to a smart phone or mini-computer (10).
After the user switches the device ON, the image is continuously sent to and processed by digital signal processing system and a video coder. Any detected text, face or other recognized object is described by voice and sent to the ear phone of the user. It shall be possible to continually enhance and sharpen the performance of the device by using refined, and even customized software programs, available via download from the internet to computer or smart phone. These would be utilized to identify specific objects more uniquely important to the user, and offer corresponding alerts when recognized by video signal (such as inventory, currency or receipts for blind merchants or vendors, specific product items and merchandise for consumers, environmental concerns or preferences for athletes, etc). The user will be alerted by voice, sound or tone, and/or by physical impulse of the alarm handle.
Similarly, the optical hardware for character, face and object (or environmental) recognition capabilities will be continuously improved and updated, as will new driver software or utilites upgrades and downloads via internet.
Parts of this video processing system also offer continuous recording for the purpose of any evidence that may be used as material in case of an accident or special incident (“black box”). The data recorded (video clip of the last few minutes) are saved in memory for later use each time that the device is turned Off, or otherwise unexpectedly interrupted in its functioning. Eventually an automatic feed or upload to the internet will also allow immediate »offsite« virtual backup, or even live, web-linked broadcasting and monitoring.
This device promises to help countless people who are blind, offering greater safety and ultimately independence -- the security and freedom to negotiate their way through daily life, anywere in the world.
Because of its popularly modern design, its multi-dimensional appeal and its universal, immediately understood usefulness and value, the »BlinX« device has very good market prospects.
The Device is meant to have a role of the “virtual view” to help blind persons to better orient and navigate through and within their environments; to read text, and recognize people, objects, and environmental circumstances or conditions. It will convert video signal from the prospective viewpoint (miniature camera built in to glasses) of the blind user, into a corresponding voice explanation of the recognized text, persons and other objects, transmitting it to the user via ear phone.
Vir, 14th of April 2010