Toyota’s Latest Tech Helps Visually Impaired in Indoor Navigation

March 9, 2016, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

When it’s said Toyota is propounding a technology that would aid navigation, one must surely be getting the picture of a GPS-based technology for their automotives. It would have turned true in any other circumstances, but not this time. Their latest technology doesn’t count on GPS, and neither will it help you steer your wheel better.

The Japanese manufacturer is currently on the development works of a new wearable technology to facilitate indoor navigation for the visually impaired ones.

Project BLAID, as called by developers, comes from the robotic division of Toyota, and is expected to make the big jump soon by making it to the beta stage.


The wearable device resembles a U-shaped neck pillow, and is designed to fit on the shoulders of the wearer. An inbuilt camera will keep track of all the surroundings around the wearer, and will constantly provide a convenient output for the visually impaired people.

These would be aided with the help of speakers and vibration motors. Communication to the device can be made by the users through voice gestures as well as buttons.

The idea here is to ease the movement of visually challenged people by constantly providing information about what’s around them, including usable spots and items like escalators, lifts, stairs and bathrooms. Toyota believes that their role could address the mobility challenges of the challenged ones by bringing more mobility through technologies.

The prototype they have revealed makes use of only in-built cameras, but Toyota explains that the device will be given mapping features and ability to identify obstacles in the path of its users. Toyota is also planning to have facial recognition brought into the final product.

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