In Brief
Computer scientists are developing new adaptive mobile technology that could enable blind and visually-impaired people to "see" through their smartphone or tablet.
  • Funded by a Google Faculty Research Award, specialists in computer vision and machine learning based at the University of Lincoln, UK, are aiming to embed a smart vision system in mobile devices to help people with sight problems navigate unfamiliar indoor environments.
  • The team plans to use color and depth sensor technology inside new smartphones and tablets, like the recent Project Tango by Google, to enable 3D mapping and localisation, navigation and object recognition.
  • A key aspect of the system will be its capacity to adapt to individual users’ experiences, modifying the guidance it provides as the machine “learns” from its landscape and from the human interaction. So, as the user becomes more accustomed to the technology, the quicker and easier it would be to identify the environment.