"3D sound" headset to help blind navigate

Sorry, no compatible source and playback technology were found for this video. Try using another browser like Chrome or download the latest Adobe Flash Player.

Sorry, video is not available for your device…

"3D sound" headset to help blind navigate
6th November 2014

Around two  million people in the UK are visually impaired and it’s thought around 180,000 rarely leave home on their own. 
In a bid to address this growing issue, Microsoft have partnered with the charity Guide Dogs and Future Cities Catapult to develop technology that aims to transform how those with sight loss get around. They’ve devised a headset and app that uses GPS and 3D sound to help the user navigate. 
The device fits around the ears so that those wearing it are still able to hear what’s going on around them.
The project was started by Amos Miller, a Microsoft employee who is visually impaired. 
"I felt very strongly that there has to be a way that we can apply technology to address some of the challenges, more than we can currently do so with the white cane and the dog", said Amos. "The arrival of my daughter added some urgency to this. I just wanted to go out and do the things other fathers do." 
Trials have been underway between Reading and Paddington over the past year and feedback from visually impaired users has been positive. At the moment, however, it is a prototype and is some years off being the finished article.
Amos added, "We can see that even at the stage we’re at now it has an incredible effect on how people feel walking down the street. The potential is huge. 
But we don’t expect people to get rid of their canes or guide dogs - this can be used alongside them."

More in Editor's Choice

Sexual abuse victim Ione Wells on how she found hope again

While her own attacker reflects on his actions – Ms Wells hosts workshops in schools and colleges to talk to young people about consent

Lord Leach: Only 'big picture' reform will keep Britain in the EU

Through his think-tank Open Europe, Lord Leach is at the heart of the referendum debate, consulted by both camps. He explains to Margareta Pagano...

Ex-Autonomy chiefs say HP was warned over revenue growth

A due diligence report  for HP mentioned accounting differences