A micro RFID reader is installed into the tip of a cane and linked to a Bluetooth transmitter in the handle. This device reads information from RFID chips and then sends the data to a smartphone app, which then translates the RFID data and sends it to a connected Bluetooth earbud, then speaks the data to the consumer.

The RFID reader and Bluetooth transmitter in the cane are powered by a small rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

RFIDs are strategically placed along sidewalks, building entrances, hallway intersections, elevator entrances and doors, as well as many other areas to give precise location and navigation data. RFIDs are placed in close proximity allowing continuous data to be transmitted to the app.

Placing RFIDs in close proximity throughout locations where enhanced navigation signals are needed will allow for seamless transitions between locations with a high-quality GPS signal, and locations with poor-to-no GPS signal. Integrating RFIDs with GPS mapping will greatly expand the areas of usability for this technology. Full integration with existing mapping technologies will enhance the precision of both the existing map services and RFID pathways for the blind.

The Rollout

The first step is to equip a university building with RFID devices, allowing for navigation throughout the entire building. This building will be the testing lab for refinement of the RFID reader, app, and RFID network. Plans are already underway to do make this adaptation.

The testing, refinement of hardware, software, and RFID network in a real environment will provide excellent data. In doing this HEARSEE will be in the hands of a blind, or visually impaired person, providing feedback only the blind can give.

The next step is to equip a state office building in the same manner. After a period of testing and refinement, this process will be followed in an ever-enlarging, and unending circle of government buildings, hospitals, universities, office buildings, subways, and city streets.

Why HEARSEE

Ever felt lost in an unfamiliar subway station, hospital, or city?

With HEARSEE anyone can have the ability to navigate unfamiliar surroundings with confidence. No more second-guessing or having to stop and ask directions.

HEARSEE will guide you from Point A to Point B simply by listening. You will know exactly where you are and how much further to your destination.

Imagine walking in a large and crowded subway station, there are signs everywhere with conflicting information, constant PA announcements–it is easy to get discouraged or turned around.

Now imagine you are blind and navigating the same subway. How do you find your way, yet stay independent? What happens if someone bumps into you and you get turned around. How do you find your way?

HEARSEE solves these problems. It tells you where you are, and it will guide you along the path to your destination.