Microsoft’s bone-conducting headset guides the blind with audio cues

While nothing can replace the companionship of a guide dog, technology can help make treks through busy cities a lot less stressful and more enjoyable for the visually impaired. Microsoft, for one, is currently testing a new headset developed with help from UK charity Guide Dogs that uses 3D soundscape technology to guide its users with audio cues along the way. That bone-conducting headset can’t work alone, though: it needs to be connected to a smartphone, as well as to receive information from Bluetooth and WiFi beacons placed in intervals throughout the roads users take. For its pilot program, Microsoft attached makeshift beacons on neighborhood objects in a London suburb, where its first testers are giving it a spin. When company news writer Jennifer Warnick tried it out while blindfolded, she found herself so efficient in getting around with only sounds to guide her, that she felt like a “dry-land dolphin.”According to her detailed report on the experiment, the beacons would constantly send audio cues that sound like the galloping coconut noise from Monty Python to ensure her she’s taking the right way. She also reported hearing other sounds, such as sonar pings to warn her if she’s veering too close to curbs, as well as turn-by-turn voice directions, telling her how far she still has to walk to certain establishments, or if the bus she’s waiting for is approaching. It’ll obviously take a ton of effort bringing the headset to market, seeing as more permanent beacons will need to be installed everywhere. Hopefully, the company finds a way to bring the system to other places, for the sake of all the blind folks who’d love to be more independent

via Microsoft’s bone-conducting headset guides the blind with audio cues.


About steventorresramos

I have over (24) years of Computer Aided Drafting & Design experience and over (16) years of IT experience. After graduating high school I attended a Technical College and earned an Associate Degree in Drafting & Design. I then enrolled at the University of Puerto Rico where I earned an A.S. in Civil Engineering Technologies. While attending the Univ. of Puerto Rico I worked as a freelance Drafter for a variety of architects and engineers. During my senior year I began to work for the firm Planning Management & Development in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Two years later I was offered the position at Mario Corsino & Associates, which later became InterGroup a medium size Civil Engineering, Architectural and Planning firm in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. At InterGroup I became assistant chief drafter where I was responsible for 20+ drafters & civil techs, and this is also where I began my IT training. In 2000 I decided to move to St. Petersburg, FL where I was hired as CAD Manager at Advanced Engineering & Design a small Civil Engineering firm established in 1998. Currently still employed by Advanced Engineering & Design I’m now the CAD/IT Manager. I have also continued to expand my knowledge base in both the IT & CADD fields through continued training, certifications, and attending Autodesk University. I’m currently an Autodesk Certified Professional proficient in AutoCAD, Civil 3D and various other Autodesk products. I have been the President of the Tampa Bay Autodesk Users Group (TBAUG) since late 2007 and a member of Autodesk Users Group International (AUGI) since 1996. I have an A.S. Degree in Computer Networking , a Bachelors of Applied Science in Technology Management and currently finishing work on my Masters in Computer Information Systems. I’m a licensed drafter in the US Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and a Microsoft Certified Professional. I hold certificates as a Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Server Administrator, Cisco Networking Associate Professional and Linux Administrator.
This entry was posted in Interesting. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s