NAVI Indoor Navigation Kinect Hack for the Blind

NAVI is another Microsoft Kinect hack that pushes the boundaries of what the popular hands-free gaming controller can achieve.

NAVI, meaning Navigational Aids for the Visually Impaired, is a student project that helps navigate a blind person around a room. Although it looks a bit cumbersome now, we could possibly see something like this in the future when all the components are made even smaller than they are today.

It works by using a Kinect sat on the users head (another reason it needs to be worked on a bit), and when walking around a room, obstacles can be detected and are then fed to a computer which in turn, feeds information to the user by a bluetooth headset. Vocal instructions received could include, “obstacle ahead, stay left”.

By using the Kinect to detect depth of objects in a room, object information is also fed back to the user by a belt that has vibration motors inside. One on the left, right and front of the user so he can sense where objects are in regards to his location.

It’s certainly more towards the useful end of the scale and one we expect to see more of in the future. The video below gives a good explanation of what can be achieved. For more details on the project and to keep up todate with things, check out the official website here.

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