Arnaud Lenglet came up with the idea of creating PANDA Guide, an augmented reality audio headset, after a blind friend fell on a railway station platform. Its mission is to restore the sight of visually impaired, partially sighted or blind people. Or rather, to help give them eyes – via their ears! In the form of an audio headset fitted with a miniature camera, PANDA Guide uses a range of technology including cognitive vision, artificial intelligence, osteophony and 3D sound. It reacts to its user’s voice and responds to their requests by describing the environment. While it doesn’t replace human assistance, this clever and discreet device helps to give a new level of independence to visually impaired people.
This project to tackle the challenges of visual impairment is truly unifying, if winning the Audience Award at the 2017 EDF Pulse Awards is anything to go by. It just goes to show that “it’s worth racking your brains to solve difficult problems!”, says Arnaud Lenglet. So far, software prototypes for the audio headset – which warns the user of potential drops or obstacles – have been created, as has a prototype of the actual headset itself. The EDF Pulse Awards prize money, along with a fundraising round currently under way, should help to accelerate production and launch pre-orders.
€30Kraised since 2017
6employees and an advisory committee of 5 people with visual impairments
6mThe radius around the wearer within all obstacles are detected