Sign Finder: Computer Vision to Find and Read Signs

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Health and Human Services
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$1,381,190.00
Award Year:
2004
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
2R44EY011821-02
Award Id:
49332
Agency Tracking Number:
1R43EY011821-01A2
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
833 Miller Drive, DAVIS, CA, 95616
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
MARK NITZBERG
(530) 686-8148
NITZBERG@BLINDSIGHT.COM
Business Contact:
MARK NITZBERG
(617) 812-2673
NITZBERG@BLINDSIGHT.COM
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): We propose to build a device that enhances the mobility of visually impaired persons by finding and reading signs aloud without the need for infrastructure beyond ordinary signs. Using new computer vision techniques, it will detect and read text in images captured by a camera worn like a pendant around the user's neck. We will build two commercially viable, self-contained consumer versions, a $1,500 device using consumer computers and cameras, and a $750 proprietary device. In typical use, a wearer will select a mode (city street, supermarket) by pressing buttons and optionally speaking commands, and then either point the device at a scene, or scan the scene using auto-repeat image capture. The device will find and read signs, but only output audio for signs relevant to the mode. The Phase II work plan has three tracks: 1) Computer vision software development and testing, 2) Human interface design and development, and 3) development and testing of the two forms of the device. Continuing our collaboration from Phase I, we use Smith-Kettlewell's Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center's expertise for human factors. Bolton Engineering will design and build the proprietary device hardware.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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