Ultrasonic Sight

Ultrasonic Sight © CC BY-NC-SA

Mobile electronical device for blind and visual impaired people mobility.

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Components and supplies

Apps and online services

About this project

Ultrasonic Sight is an electronic device for mobility, sociality and welfare of blind and visually impaired people.

The idea of developing such a device arises from several aspects concerning the device market and from the everyday blind and visually impaired people problems.

Key Facts

  • 285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired worldwide: 39 million are blind and 246 have low vision.
  • About 90% of the world's visually impaired live in low-income settings and/or developing countries.
  • 82% of people living with blindness are aged 50 and above.
  • Globally, uncorrected refractive errors are the main cause of moderate and severe visual impairment; cataracts remain the leading cause of blindness in middle- and low-income countries.

Issues encountered by interviews with more than 100 blind people

  • Too much noise in the streets for road traffic and for people in the street (usually encountered in metropolitan cities).
  • Blind people city paths often are non-existent, worn or incorrect and can cause panic or a mortal danger.
  • Fear of getting lost or confused in the street.
  • Devices actually on the market are inaccurate with wrong or distorted reliefs due to old technologies or inadequate for the purpose like infrared technologies that are subjected to strong bright refractions in external environments.
  • Embarrassment in being helped by guide dogs.

Ultrasonic Sight

A device based on genuino 101, vibration motor, speaker, ultrasonic sensor and a heart rate and blood oxygen saturation sensor (IR + Led). A smartphone app will be linked via BT to the device (with back-end in cloud).

What does Ultrasonic Sight do?

The device relief holes, steps, road signs on sidewalks and cars in reverse thanks to the ultrasonic modulus and a proper algorithm.

The device replaces completely the withe cane as for functionality as for usage, in fact the blind people have to continuously move the device from right to left or vice versa for monitoring constantly the area in front of him, as the device reliefs something it will vibrate and sound depending on the detected object distance advising on time the user of the possible danger.

In case the device reliefs objects in every direction and, the heart rate would be abnormal, the device synchronize itself by BT with the app reporting a possible panic situation to the nearest "friend" person​ to ensure a first aid. in this case, also, from interviews to blind and visually impaired people, it is preferred to decrease the intensity of the ultrasonic checking to avoid panic situations due to alarms.

The app will take GPS and vital data and load them through a proper API on a geographical map, the map will be available only for the user friends and relatives so to be always findable in case of necessity like in the previous scenario.

The map has several uses:

  • Emergency cases: reports coordinates and vital parameters.
  • Signaling positions, possibility to be guided home with vocal indications (step by step navigation).
  • Possibility to meet and to keep in touch with friends easily using vocal indications.
  • Possibility to save usual paths and to set "safe" positions.

Demo Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZp0CDsg0eo

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