Jan 032011

Blinput would allow the visually impaired to navigate its menu system using hand gestures

Smartphones have already proven their worth as navigation devices for sighted people but a new concept aims to go even further for the vision impaired.

Dubbed blinput, the system would allow visually impaired people to not only find their way around, but also interact with the connected world using the smartphone’s camera to gather context relevant information that would then be relayed to the user through a pair of headphones.

The blinput system would see a visually impaired person wearing a smartphone around their neck with the camera facing out and a pair of headphones that would produce audio in 3D. With sound being an even more important sense for the visually impaired, these would be open headphones to allow ambient noise to be heard.

To navigate the system’s controls the user would hold their hand in front of the phone’s camera and scroll through options, which are read out to them, by moving their hand up or down and select options with a pinch of their fingers. This simple user interface would not only allow them to get directions, but would also allow them to interact with devices such as vending or ticket machines that are embedded with RFID or Bluetooth.

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