Introducing Project Guideline: A Game-Changer for the Visually Impaired
Project Guideline, a collaboration between Google Research and Guiding Eyes for the Blind, is a groundbreaking technology that uses machine learning to help people with visual impairments like blindness and low-vision navigate the world independently. By leveraging a Google Pixel phone and headphones, Project Guideline can guide users along outdoor paths marked with a painted line.
The latest update to Project Guideline includes advanced features such as obstacle detection and path planning, making it even more reliable and safe for users. The system uses ARCore for precise tracking of the user’s position and orientation while a segmentation model built on the DeepLabV3+ framework processes each camera frame to generate a binary mask of the guideline.
In addition, Project Guideline also includes obstacle detection and avoidance features using a monocular depth ML model to alert users of potential obstacles along the path. It also features a low-latency audio system that provides navigational sounds to guide users along the line.
For those wondering, Project Guideline was built specifically for Google Pixel phones with the Google Tensor chip, allowing optimized ML models to run on-device with higher performance and lower power consumption.
The team behind Project Guideline has also designed a simulator that enables rapid testing and prototyping of the system in a virtual environment.
Looking ahead, the team plans to integrate haptic feedback into the technology, in addition to sound, to guide runners. They are also working on removing the painted line completely by utilizing the ARCore Scene Semantics API, which can identify sidewalks, buildings, and other objects in outdoor scenes.
The open source release of Project Guideline makes it available for anyone to use and improve, and the team is excited to see how the technology can be adapted and enhanced in the future. With these innovations, the world is becoming a more accessible place for all.