IBM develops app to help blind navigate better

IBM logoCarnegie Mellon University (CMU) and IBM have teamed up to create smartphone apps that will give blind people information about their surroundings.

The pilot app, called Navcog uses existing sensors and other technologies to help people on the CMU campus move around by “whispering” information through earbuds or by creating vibrations.

CMU has Bluetooth beacons along walkways and also smartphone sensors within campus buildings.

IBM will soon put the app at no charge on the App Store.

Big Blue said it has made cognitive assistance for developers available on the cloud through IBM Bluemix, with the open toolkit made up of an app for navigation, a map editing tool, and localisation algorithms.

Future developments will include localisation technology integrating data from different sensors and include facial recognition software too.