Have you heard about the Blaid device?
It is our way to help the blind and visually impaired people to increase their mobility, and one example of how we are working on shaping the future of mobility for all.
But what is it and how does it work?
The Blaid is a little weird-shaped device that will fill the gaps left by canes, dogs and basic GPS devices by providing the blind and visually impaired with more information about their surroundings. Worn around the shoulders, it will help them better navigate indoor spaces, such as office buildings and shopping malls, by identifying everyday features, including restrooms, escalators, stairs and doors.
The current prototype is a hands-free, horseshoe-shaped device that sits around the user’s shoulders, so it’s both easy to wear and unobtrusive. Its curves and angles form-fit the human body, and its material is smooth to the touch. It will be equipped with cameras that detect surroundings and will interact with the user through voice recognition, buttons, speakers and vibration. Plus, Bluetooth technology will allow the user to pair it with their smartphone for additional functionality.
Calling Toyota employees for help
As part of the project BLAID, we have also launched an employee engagement campaign that invites employees company-wide to submit videos of common indoor landmarks. These videos will subsequently be used by the Project BLAID developers to “teach” the device to better recognise these landmarks.
Want to know more about it and the other projects we are working on ? Visit TheToyotaEffect.com for more videos.