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Aerial obstacle detection software for the visually impaired

This software is aimed to detect aerial obstacles (e.g. tree branches, awnings), addressed to the visually impaired. The system uses the stereo camera of some devices to detect the depth of the obstacles up to a maximum distance of 2 meters in the walking direction. The system incorporates an algorithm to correct the swing movement produced when the user walks. The application presents an accessible user interface, designed for blind users. It notifies the presence of an obstacle by means of acoustic signals or vibrations. The vibration becomes more frequent as we get closer to obstacles.

Some of the advantages of the technology are the following:

  • The technology is embedded in a smartphone.

  • Ease of use via touch interface specially designed for the blind. Items and options are vocalized.

  • The system does not require previous calibration to start the obstacles detection. This technology is able to obstain real measures from the scene.

  • In contrast to others, the use of this technology is comfortable and does not attract attention. It facilitates the user social integration.

  • Also, the system warns the obstacles via acoustic signals or vibrations without depriving the user from the sense of hearing.

This technology is protected by patent application.

Number of request: 201201247

Application date: 19/12/2012

This application has been the winner of the category "Application Mobile for Good" in the 7th edition of the Vodafone Foundation Innovation Awards.

Mobile Vision Research Laboratory

Miguel Ángel Lozano Ortega
Dpto. de Ciencia de la Computación e Inteligencia Artificial
Universidad de Alicante
Carretera San Vicente s/n
03690 San Vicente del Raspeig
Alicante (Spain)

Tel: (+34) 96 590 3400 x 1248

Fax: (+34) 96 590 3902


For further information:, and for enquiries on this web server:

Carretera San Vicente del Raspeig s/n - 03690 San Vicente del Raspeig - Alicante - Tel. 96 590 3400 - Fax 96 590 3464