Project Guideline: Developing many technological innovations in accessibility, Google is testing a new application. This application of Google allows visually impaired people to run without the need for a guide.
Google, one of the largest technology companies in the world, is testing a new application developed for visually impaired people. This new app, tested by the search giant, will enable the visually impaired to run without any guide dogs or human assistance.
Project Guideline uses the smartphone’s camera to trace a line on a route and sends voices to its user with bone conduction headphones. So what is bone conduction? Bone conduction is the way sound reaches the hearing organs in the inner ear through the skull bones. If the running person moves too far from the center, the sound of the headset will increase in the direction he is moving away from.
The application developed by Google for the visually impaired: Project Guideline
Project Guideline, which is still in the prototype stage, was developed at the Hackathon (software competition) organized by Google last year. During the competition, a visually impaired runner asked developers to develop a program that would allow him to run alone.
The person who made this request from developers was Guiding Eyes for the Blind, CEO Thomas Panek. Panek, who began to lose his sight when he was 8 years old, lost this ability completely by the time he reached adolescence. Panek had to quit running, one of his greatest passions.
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Later, after hearing about running under the guidance of a human, Panek expresses his gratitude to his guides, but also expresses that he wants to be more independent in this regard. Due to this desire for independence, Panek also made this request from the developers in Google’s 2019 competition.
Later, a telephone demo was designed that recognizes the line taped to the ground. This demo was further customized as time progressed. The camera of the phone attached to Panek’s running suit was using artificial intelligence and sending audio signals to its user. If the runner passes from the line to his left, the sound in his left ear, if he crosses to the right, the sound in his right ear increases and thus stays on the line.
Over the past few months and some adjustments, Panek was able to run indoors without any help or guide. The developers then started working on adapting this technology to external areas. Moreover, one of the biggest advantages of Project Guidelines is that it does not need an internet connection.
Saying that Project Guideline helped him realize his dream, Panek says that this project can be adapted and expanded to give independence to people like him.