Apple's implementation of LIDAR in the iPad and rumoured "Apple Glass" - What does it mean for the blind?

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Hardware & Accessories

Hi,

So, I've been rather underwhelmed by the idea of Apple including LIDAR in it's products starting with the 2020 iPad Pro. My thought was, how is that going to help us, especially if it is the only input on the rumoured upcoming glasses? Well, I've been thinking about this and reading about it too... And it seems that, should the apps be there, this could be a very powerful mobility aid for us.

What it can't do is OCR for us, the way it works is reflection of beams of light from surfaces, like Radar does with sound, so reading items with apps like Seeing AI will be out which, quite frankly sucks.

what it can do is render a 3d image of the space around us in high detail and rapid update. Now, I'm not sure how this can be converted into a format useful for us, for the sighted it will over lay information on structures and objects, but I'm pretty sure there is a powerful use for this technology, mapping new environments for example indoors it could record doorways, ceilings, furniture placement etc.. We could tag certain spaces, or it could even be done automatically based on the shapes of toilet bowls baths, where the toilet is and, after it is logged, how we can return to it.

Theoretically it could also identify people through the contours of their faces, their position, even provide a running commentary of body motions because, unlike 2d images that have to be processed after the fact, seeing AI is an example, it can be done real time if the app knows it is a person waving, for example...

Anyway, it's far more exciting than I first thought and a tool that is likely to be more powerful in the long run than OCR.

What are your thoughts? Any hints of killer apps that will use LIDAR to help us in our every day lives? Any corrections to what I've said here too?

Bring on Apple Glass, I say, it's going to be a game changer, even if we can't see the screens. Might be nice for apple to offer one without them to us folk who don't need them.

Thoughts? Comments?

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