Float has released Cydalion, a mobile application that uses cutting-edge augmented reality technology to help people who are visually impaired avoid obstacles in their environment through the use of audio tones and touch feedback.
“This is different from other augmented reality apps,” said Float’s managing director, Chad Udell. “Many developers are using this new technology to create video games or other entertainment, but we have used it to make a real impact on those who are visually impaired in day-to-day life.”
At the core of the Cydalion app is Tango, a technology from Google that uses computer vision to give devices the ability to understand their position relative to the world around them. Cydalion uses Tango’s depth-sensing camera to send out infrared beams that warn the user of obstructions. Cydalion also uses an advanced neural network to provide depth information to the user, making this technology truly portable.
Float breaks new ground by taking on object altitude detection to help avoid head-level objects, which is a leading cause of injury to the visually impaired. The app provides specialized feedback if an obstruction is at head height or may provide a tripping hazard.
In addition to its real-life application, Steve Richey, the lead developer on the app, believes that Cydalion holds great promise for future use cases of Tango, and by extension, augmented reality.
“In Greek mythology, when Orion lost his sight, a character named Cedalion stood on his shoulders to help him find his way,” Richey explained. “We don’t have this mythological figure at our disposal, but we do have a system that extends the capabilities of Tango to help people with visual impairments live their lives more independently.”
Float mobilizes people, processes, and software in high-performing organizations through custom apps, digital strategy, and human-centered design. Their services and capabilities include iOS, Android, and Windows development; user interface and user experience design; mobile security; responsive Web design; augmented reality; computer vision; content management; and content strategy. To learn more about Float, visit gowithfloat.com.