The project will investigate prosthetic support for people with visual impairment (PVI) that integrates computer vision-based prosthetics with video-mediated human-in-the-loop prosthetics. Computer vision- based (CV) prosthetics construe the fundamental technical challenge for visual prosthetics as one of parsing and identifying objects across scales, distances, and orientations. Visual prosthetic applications have been central drivers in the development of computer vision technology through the past 50 years.
Video-mediated remote sighted assistance (RSA) prosthetics are more recent, enabled by different technologies, and construe the orienting technical challenge for visual prosthetics as one of effective helping interactions. RSA services are commercially available now, and have evoked much excitement in the PVI community. The two approaches, CV and RSA, will be successively integrated through a series of increasingly refined Wizard of Oz simulations, and investigate possible synergies between the two approaches. We will employ a human-centered design approach, identifying a set of key assistive interaction scenarios that represent authentic needs and concerns of PVIs, by leveraging our 6-year relationship working directly with our local chapter of the National Federation of the Blind.
23.7 million American adults have vision loss; 1.3 million people in US are legally blind. This project addresses a transformational opportunity to enhance human performance and experience, to diversify workplace participation, and to enhance economic and social well-being.