With the advancement in technology, there is an emerging need to assist the blind and the partially blind people in providing ease in navigation. The targeted audience, usually, is dependent on someone else to assist them in their daily commute. The traditional methods of encountering obstacles while walking pose a serious chance of injury since these methods mostly rely on instincts. Furthermore, these methods are mostly efficient in familiar surroundings and such a person finds it difficult to navigate in new places. In Pakistan, such areas of studies are hardly explored though the need for such facilities for the physically impaired is the same for any other country if not more. The disability rate in Pakistan has increased from 2.54% in 1998 to 2.65% in 2012 with blindness taking the second-highest chunk of the total.
Optasia app for Blinds:
“Optasia” which is an android application for navigation along with a vibrating cane, which would serve the blind and the partially blind people, making navigation easier for them. This is developed by Pakistani students to assist the blind and the partially blind people with the help of camera, GPS system, and sensors which would enable the user to be more aware of the surrounding. This app provides any sort of guided assistance to the handicapped people whereby they could have ease navigating. This navigation system navigates the user, detects obstacles through vibrations on the hand and identifies objects in front of the user. This reduces the dependency of the user on others and provides a reliable, efficient and accurate guidance tool for navigating even in unfamiliar surroundings.
Meet the Team behind this Startup:
Hashim, javeria and Faizan are the guys behind this mobile application. They are students of Software engineering at Comsats University, Islamabad. This Mobile app for Blinds is their Final year project which is Currently limited to the Comsats University only but they are looking forward to market it after making improvements.
Functions of Optasia Navigation App:
The vibrating cane has 4 SONAR sensors. Three of them are attached at the lower left, right and front side. And one of them is attached at the upper front side. There is a glove attached to the handle of the vibrating cane.
Upon reaching an obstacle, the Sensor emits Sonar waves to detect the presence of an object and generates vibration in the respective vibrator attached to the glove. If the vibration is felt on the Index finger, then the object is coming from the lower front. If the vibration is produced in the thumb, object is coming from the upper front. If the object is on the left side of the user, vibration is produced in the little finger and if the object is on the right-hand side of the user, the vibration is produced on the top of the glove.
The vibrating cane has wheels attached at the bottom which helps it movable without putting much effort.
Optasia has a specially designed application which can be easily used by the blind person Himself. It takes voice inputs and responds the user inputs through voice. It has advanced functionalities like Voice navigation and Object recognition.
This module helps the blind person in navigation. The user just has to input the destination location, rest is done by the application itself. The application guides the user throughout the path and tells him when to take left or right turns. All of it is done through voice commands!
Optasia application has an advanced function of recognizing the objects that come in the way of the user. It has real-time object recognition feature which detects the object that comes in the camera frame and notifies the user about the name of the object through voice.