They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what is beauty to a blind person ? To a man that has never seen the world, what does he look forward to ? Understanding the difficulties that the blind and visually impaired go through in simple day to day activities, we were inspired to develop GuideDog. GuideDog's aim is to allow the blind and visually impaired to perceive the things around us, just like how you and I do.
What it does
GuideDog seeks to mitigate the difficulties that the blind and visually impaired suffer from, by providing them with a navigation device that is able to identify all nearby objects, as well as the relative distance between the user and the object. We built this app vicariously from the perspective of a blind and visually impaired person, and our ideal was to keep our product simple and efficient.
How I built it
We built the android app by using clarifai API and Android Studio to identify an object, and then to convert the object name from text to speech. We also used an Arduino and Amazon Web Services to enhance the hardware capabilities of our product.
Challenges I ran into
The biggest challenge we ran into was debugging a code that caused the app to crash every time we opened the camera. It took us well over six hours to rectify this error. We also faced a few hiccups in terms of converting text to voice.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We're proud to be able to finish a viable product with real life application, given that we started 4 hours after the hackathon began. We did run into a couple of challenges, but we were diligent in overcoming them in a timely manner. Our biggest accomplishment is achieving a step beyond our initial plan, and ensuring that the hardware component of our product works properly.
What I learned
We learned how to make use of clarifai, Amazon Web Services, and Arduino. We also learnt that there's a lot of happiness to be gained at the bottom of a well written code which compiles with no errors. ( Finally, after 6 hours !)
What's next for Guidedog
Guidedog plans to associate with the Community of Blind and Visually Impaired. GuideDog understands that there 253 million visually impaired people in the world and most of them are from low income backgrounds, so we would like to partner with the government and relevant non-profit organizations to make GuideDog easily accessible to the blind and visually impaired.