According to the WHO, 285 million people worldwide have a visual impairment, with 39 million being legally blind. While new technology is making life easier for those with hearing impairments, autism and other obstacles, it hasn't done as much for people with limited or no sight.
Plenty of companies have been working on systems to help people with visual impairment to navigate, and now carmaker Toyota is giving it a try with Project BLAID. It's a gadget that goes around the neck like a stiff scarf and detects what is around the wearer.
For example, BLAID can recognize exits and restroom signs. If the wearer asks BLAID to find the bathroom or the exit, it can give them precise directions using vocal and vibration feedback. Toyota plans to make it work for business signs, and eventually objects and faces.
To give you an idea of how difficult of a goal this is, the project has been in development for three years already, and there's no clear plan on when it will be ready for the public. Still, it gets much easier every year as computers get smaller and faster, so it shouldn't be too long a wait.
BLAID isn't the only latest advance for people with disabilities. Check out an exoskeleton that just arrived on the market to help people walk.