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IITians invent aid kit for visually impaired

September 26, 2015, Bengaluru, DHNS 2:29 IST
Padmanabhan S N (right) Vinod P Deshmukh, with their kit. DH Photo
Two City-based IITians have invented an innovative electronic mobility and travel aid kit that will help the visually impaired move around outdoors and indoors.

AUSION, the visual aid kit invented by Vinod P Deshmukh and Padmanabhan S N, works by converting information from the environment in to audible feedback to guide users identify obstacles in their path.

“The interpretations of audible feedback will enable the virtual recreation of the surroundings, allowing users freedom of movement by detecting overhanging obstacles at the chest, shoulder and head levels. It is a unique concept to use the second most sensitive organ (ear and its audio processing capability) to provide spatial information through different audio frequencies to the visually impaired. This concept is unique, something we haven’t come across,” inventors Vinod and Padmanabhan of Innovation Hub Technologies told Deccan Herald.

AUSION, costing Rs 3,500, is a compact, handheld, manoeuvrable and non-intrusive device.

How it works?

AUSION uses ultrasonic waves to identify obstacles and process information about the distance between the obstacle and the user. The resolutions are more than sufficient for personal navigation needs, since the average length of each step is 80 cm, the inventors say.

“The auditory sense of the visually impaired is generally high. Secondly, providing audio feedback is faster.The information obtained is mapped using a proprietary and novel technique to generate unique and distinct tones. These tones are suitably amplified and fed to a earphone, through which the visually impaired user perceives them.They will then be able to use this auditory feedback to recreate the environment in front of them after they train themselves to correlate the tones to corresponding distances,” Deshmukh and Padmanabhan explained.

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