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Device that lets the visually impaired move comfortably

The Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States has developed a wearable device that could help people with visual impairment move around their environments safely.

The system is made up of a 3D depth-sensing camera, electronically controlled Braille pads and a vibration feedback belt.

The camera helps to map out a room's layout and the objects within. This is in sync with a digital library of common items found in a home and it relays the information on what the camera is currently being pointed at.

The Braille Pads used can display symbols to describe an object in front of the wearer. It will show the Braille letter for 'c' when the wearer is looking at a chair, or 't' for a table.

The belt increases its pulses as the user gets closer to an obstacle. Using these in combination, a blind person can move around a room on their own without a cane.

The device is not available commercially and the team is working on a version that is suitable to wear outdoors.

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