IBM, Carnegie Mellon Team on Cognitive App for the Blind

IBM partnered with CMU’s famed Robotics Institute to create a pilot app called NavCog that draws on existing sensors and cognitive technologies to inform blind people on the CMU campus about their surroundings by “whispering” into their ears through ear buds or by creating vibrations on smartphones.
The app analyzes signals from Bluetooth beacons located along walkways and from smartphone sensors to help users move without human assistance, whether inside campus buildings or outdoors. Researchers are exploring additional capabilities for future versions of the app to detect who is approaching and what is their mood. The NavCog app will soon be available at no cost on the App Store.