Design concepts with a focus on helping those with any kind of impairment are popping up all over the place, and none of them are pulling back on the reigns of feature-sets or functionality. This time around we've got a pair of devices that attach to the user's hands, almost looking like a piece of jewelery and not some advanced GPS unit. Utilizing a suite of features, from vibration to motion detection, these little units will help those with a visual impairment move around a little bit easier, so they can leave that walking stick at home.
The VIA (Visually Impaired Assistant) relies mostly on Video Motion Detection technologies, but also incorporates four different cameras, and a GPS receiver that's voice-operated so that the gadget can function as both an early warning detection system, as well as a navigational unit. There are two different vibration mechanisms within the units, which will help warn users of obstacles, as well as keep them on track to their destination.
As far as concepts go, the usage method is top-notch. However, it would completely depend on how well the sensors worked together to alert the user. Too slow, and obviously the unit wouldn't be worth the cost. However, if done right, the VIA could be a very real option for the visually impaired. Or, considering you would not have to worry about a walking stick, you could always pair this concept with the Brainovi Braille-based 3D map. There's no word whether or not the designer of the VIA, Noam Klopper, will get this gadget into the market.
[via Yanko Design]