September 14, 2016

When You’re Blinded, This HoloLens Tool Sees for You


Ken Walmsley is a software architect at Autodesk who became interested in the idea of spatial sound. Specifically, he wanted to use it as a way to navigate through an environment where it’s hard to see.

During the recent Autodesk Global Hackathon, he designed a HoloLens application that gets you unlost.

My idea is that someone in a low visibility environment—and this could be because they’re themselves blind or perhaps in an emergency response situation—could be led to an exit (or simply their destination) via spatial sound. They’d be led through a series of waypoints—with sound emanating from the closest—until they reach their destination.

The project is called the HoloGuide. It reads pre-programmed path information from a second application (like Revit), and displays the path locally to the user. It also includes a hologram that leads you in the direction of the next waypoint.

Projects like this could be useful for first-responders, employees in dangerous low-visibility situations, and all those of us who can’t function blind the way that Jean-Claude Van Damme does.


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