The goal of our laboratory is to develop and test access technology for blind and visually impaired persons that is enabled by computer vision and other sensor technologies.
Video Description Research and Development Center
The Smith-Kettlewell Video Description Research and Development Center (VDRDC) investigates innovative technologies and techniques for making online video more accessible to blind and visually-impaired students and consumers. Through collaboration with a broad array of partners and stakeholders in the Description Leadership Network, we are developing advanced video annotation methods for use in a wide variety of educational settings, as well as helping educators and other description providers make better use of the tools already available.
Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center
The Center's research goal is to develop and apply new scientific knowledge and practical, cost-effective devices to better understand and address the real-world problems of blind, visually impaired, and deaf-blind consumers
Summer Research Institute
The goal of the Summer Research Institute program is to help people with visual impairments acquire advanced skills related to STEM subjects and careers. Apply to participate in the inaugural session by May 1, 2023 using the link below.
The Magic Map is an interactive 3D map installed at the Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto, California. It consists of a 1/100 scale 3D bronze representation of the playground, which includes over seventy play structures organized into multiple play zones and paths. When the tip of the "Magic Wand" tethered to the map is pointed to a specific feature on the map, the name and description of the feature are read aloud in audio. This interactivity makes the map accessible to visitors with visual impairments, and without requiring them to read braille.
ZoomBoard: an Affordable, Portable System to Improve Access to Presentations and Lecture Notes for Low Vision Viewers
The goal of the project is to develop a “ZoomBoard” system that students with low vision can use to better access visual material on a whiteboard or blackboard. The prototype version of the system that we plan to develop in this grant will consist of a dedicated camera...
This project seeks to develop a computer vision-based system that allows a visually impaired traveler to find and read informational signs, such as signs labeling office doors, streets, restrooms and Exit signs.
A Computer Vision-Based Indoor Wayfinding Tool
The ability to navigate safely and confidently is a fundamental requirement for independent travel and access to many settings such as work, school, shopping, transit and healthcare. Navigation is particularly challenging for people with visual impairments, who have limited ability to see signs, landmarks or maps posted in the environment.
Tactile Graphics Helper (TGH)
Tactile graphics use raised lines, textures, and elevations to provide individuals with visual impairments access to graphical materials through touch. Tactile graphics are particularly important for students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, where educational...
Computer Vision Journal Club
The Computer Vision Journal Club meets periodically to discuss papers on topics in computer vision, machine learning and other topics of interest such as assistive technologies for persons who are blind or visually impaired, dual sensory loss (hearing and vision loss), neuroscience and...
CamIO (short for “Camera Input-Output”) is a system to make physical objects (such as documents, maps, devices and 3D models) accessible to blind and visually impaired persons, by providing real-time audio feedback in response to the location on an object that the user is touching. CamIO...
The Smith-Kettlewell Haptics Symposium
The Smith-Kettlewell Haptics Symposium was held on March 29, 2018 to honor and remember Dr. Val Morash and her research.
Regressions in Braille Reading
This project explores regressions (movements to re-read text) in braille reading. The image on the right plots the braille reading finger movements in blue and regressions in black.
Tutorials and Reference
These are tutorials and reference materials I have written on various topics in probability and geometry over the years.
Workshop Series on Computer Vision and Sensor-Enabled Assistive Technology for Visual Impairment
Workshop on Environmental Sensing Technologies for Visual Impairment (ESTVI '13 in San Francisco)
ESTVI '13 focused on emerging technologies capable of sensing environmental features for...
The goal of the Display Reader project is to develop a computer vision system that runs on smartphones and tablets to enable blind and visually impaired persons to read appliance displays. Such displays are found on an increasing array of appliances such as microwave ovens, thermostats and home...
BLaDE (Barcode Localization and Decoding Engine) is an Android smartphone app designed to enable a blind or visually impaired user find and read product barcodes. The primary innovation of BLaDE, relative to most commercially available smartphone apps for reading barcodes, is that it provides...
Video-Based Speech Enhancement for Persons with Hearing and Vision Loss
Observing the visual cues from a speaker such as the shape of the lips and facial expression can greatly improve the speech comprehension capabilities of a person with hearing loss. However, concurrent vision loss can lead to a significant loss in speech perception. We propose developing a prototype device that utilizes a video camera in addition to audio input to enhance the speech signal from a target speaker in everyday situations.
Created by William Loughborough in 1979, Talking Lights was a system of infrared transmitters and receivers allowing blind and visually impaired travelers to quickly and easily "read signs" at a distance.