DBillScan: A Camera Phone Based Currency Reader for the Visually Impaired

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Health and Human Services
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$153,764.00
Award Year:
2011
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
1R43EY021695-01
Award Id:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
R43EY021695
Solicitation Year:
2011
Solicitation Topic Code:
NEI
Solicitation Number:
PA10-050
Small Business Information
12009 DISTANT THUNDER TRAIL, CLARKSVILLE, MD, 21029-
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
827092227
Principal Investigator:
HUIPING LI
(301) 728-0694
huipingli@limaging.net
Business Contact:
HUIPING LI
(301) 728-0694
huiping.li@limaging.net
Research Institute:
Stub




Abstract
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): For this SBIR Limaging, LLC teams with researchers in Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University to develop DBillScan, a camera phone based currency reader to identify U.S. dollar bills for the blind and visual impaired (VI). In many countries the currency is printed on different sizes of paper or with different tactile mars for people with visual disabilities to touch and recognize. However, these features are not provided in U.S. dollar bills. Although currency reading products such as slide-in note readers or even camera phone based solution exist, the user either needs extra devices, the devices are not portable, they are slow to use, or are not user-friendly for the person who is blind. Wepropose to develop a solution that empowers the blind user to identify bills with a low cost, lightweight and portable currency. The DBillScan is innovative and unique because our mobile software can read a bill in scanning mode even when parts of the billare invisible. Specifically, it can provide the following: 1) convenience and ease of use for the blind and vision-impaired community to operate 2) feature an algorithm that will be light weight with a reasonable battery/charge life 3) read a dollar billand determine its denomination in less than ten seconds 4) provide a misread rate no greater than one in a hundred 5) allows for upgrades of future currency designs 6) have a robust design that can read current, circulating currency in a wide range of physical conditions 7) be used in a wide platform of mobile devices PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: In many countries the currency is printed on different sizes of paper or with different tactile mars for people with visual disabilities to touch and recognize.However, these features are not provided in U.S. dollar bills, and notes with different face values can only be distinguished visually For this reason the blind community initiated a law suit against the U.S. Treasury Department, and the federal appeals court ruled The U.S. Treasury Department discriminates because it has failed to design and issue paper currency that is readily distinguishable by people who are blind . Acknowledging that litigation may eventually resolve the situation by requiring changes in the engraving and printing process, we propose to develop an immediate solution that empowers the blind user to identify bills with a low cost, lightweight and portable currency. Although currency reading products such as slide-in note readers or evencamera phone based solution exist, the user either needs extra devices, the devices are not portable, they are slow to use, or are not user-friendly for the person who is blind.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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