Google’s Project Guideline is going to help people with visual impairments to be more independent and run races by themselves

For a person who suffers from blindness or any other kind of visual impairment, running a race all by themselves is just a far-fetched dream. Even taking a simple walk requires them to take someone’s aid or use an aiding stick to tread carefully. Even then, there is a lot of danger for them. But Google has been trying to develop technological systems that can help them and make them independent as much as possible. Walking instructions in Google Maps, Chrome’s Artificial Intelligence systems to recognize different images and provide auditory descriptions of those images to visually-impaired or blind people, and the ‘read documents aloud’ option in the Google Lookout app are some of the company’s ventures through which it has tried to help visually disabled people.

Now, there is a new project that Google has started working on with the help of the president and CEO of Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Thomas Panek. Thomas is a runner himself, so together, Google’s experts and Thomas decided to build a system based on Artificial Intelligence that can help blind and visually impaired people run races without any support. This project is named ‘Project Guideline’ and it is currently going through an early-testing phase.

As per Venture, the basic plan for this system to work is that when a runner attaches their Android phone to a special harness developed and designed by Google around their waist and switch on their Project Guideline app in their phone, the app will use their phone’s camera to guide them about the course that they are running on. When the runner veers off from their track and goes a little astray, the app will send audio signals to their bone-conducting headphones. The sound will get louder the more astray the runner goes.

A good thing is that this app does not need an internet connection to work. And it can also let the user know about weather conditions and the state of lighting around them. This will let them know about the time of the day and will also let them take necessary precautionary measures if the weather and lighting conditions turn unfavorable for them.

At the moment, it is all being tested and in just the early phases of development, but Google is quite hopeful that it will turn out to be something extraordinary. Google also plans to partner with several other organizations and add some more interesting and beneficial features in Project Guideline for the benefit of its users.



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