We wanted to build a cost-effective technology to allow visually impaired individuals to travel with more ease because there are over 39 million blind individuals around the world that do not have the leisure of sight.
What it does
WalkerBuddy is an application that improves the accessibility of travel for blind people to get around from Point A to Point B. In order to do this, the user triggers a prompt at the start of the application and orally states where they want to go. Based on the coordinates of the phone, the application calculates how to get to that location safely with the use of Google Maps along with the camera that is attached to the user's glasses to detect interfering objects.
How we built it
Google Firebase, Google AutoVision ML, Google Storage, Google Maps Directions API, and Google Speech Service, XCode/Swift, Python, Raspberry Pi, Apple Speech
Challenges we ran into
One challenge that we ran into was implementing an algorithm that provides the user with incremental directions. When the user reaches a certain checkpoint, after which, the user is provided with the next set of directions to reach their destination. Another challenge that we ran into was the volume of the audio because after the speech recognition was activated, the audio of the speaker was turned down to a minimum.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of implementing Google's AutoML Vision in our design because it was interesting to build/train a model to detect objects such as a walk sign, stop sign, curb, and buildings.
What we learned
Through this experience, we learned fundamental aspects of Google Cloud Platform by implementing some of its most useful services like AutoML Vision and Firebase and other APIs such as SpeechService, and Directions API. Additionally, we learned to become more aware of the situations that face blind individuals as they struggle to navigate to their destinations.
What's next for WalkerBuddy
To scale this product to a more international community, we plan to add Google's Translation API in order to reach a more diverse community.