A pioneering facial recognition cane for the blind

So far when we talk about smart canes the maximum we think is the cane that could identify the obstacles in advance and sent a audio or vibrating feedback to the blind users, but students at Birmingham City University developed a revolutionary ‘smart’ cane enabling the visually impaired to instantly identify friends and family .

The new smart cane called “XploR” mobility cane is developed by Steve Adigbo, Waheed Rafiq and Richard Howlett, ICT students of Birmingham City University. The new smart cane uses Smartphone technology to recognise familiar faces from up to 10 metres away. The cane also features GPS functionality to aid navigation.

How does it work

The smart cane incorporates facial recognition technology to alert the user when they are approaching a relative or friend. The students have designed the XploR cane to detect faces up to 10 metres away, vibrating when detecting a recognisable individual from a bank of images stored on an internal SD memory card.

The device will guide users towards friends and family members using an ear piece and audio guidance, with the information being relayed through bluetooth technology. The students conducted market research at the Beacon Centre for the Blind in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, to determine key features that the visually impaired would find useful in a mobility cane.

The student project forms part of LILA, a European initiative encouraging entrepreneurship and fostering internationalisation.

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