Open source: Intel presents a networked backpack that blinds can use to orient themselves thanks to AI

If in a while you come across a visually impaired person carrying a backpack, you may not be aware of their visual impairment. In fact, giant Intel just unveiled a new assistance system for the visually impaired in a March 24 press release.

This system is based on artificial intelligence in connection with a stereoscopic camera. And this system is carried in a backpack. To achieve this technological achievement, Intel worked with a research team from the University of Georgia (USA). This innovation could enable the visually impaired to do without a white cane or guide dogs. Presentation.

Three lenses for the camera

The system therefore uses artificial intelligence and a Luxonis Oak-D camera. The camera has two lenses to achieve a stereoscopic view. This camera makes it possible to assess the distance from obstacles or people. Then it gets a third 4K lens (3840 x 2160 pixels). The system works for 8 hours thanks to an autonomous battery.

An attached backpack

The system developed by Intel is discreet as the battery and camera are carried in a banana and the backpack contains the computer. This computer is connected to both the camera and a GPS system. The camera with an Intel Movidius Myriad X chip processes most of the data so that the wearer can navigate.

Three lenses for the camera. Image credit: Intel

The camera uses deep neural networks to detect obstacles, crosswalks, tree branches and even building entrances. Instructions are provided using a Bluetooth headset that is connected to the computer. The wearer can interact with the system. For example, visually impaired people can request a description of their surroundings. The system can also keep a description of the locations upon request.

Soon in open source

Intel would like to develop this system under a free license so that visually impaired people can customize the system, but also improve it. In particular, Intel wants to use a smartphone instead of a computer. This would make the system almost invisible to others. It could also be that the system integrates connected glasses in the future. Intel is relying on the imagination of its users to perfect its system that will undoubtedly revolutionize the world of the visually impaired.