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Gadget to help the visually-impaired

Iris Corporation Bhd of Phillipines has launched Vision Palm, a handheld computer designed by Italian firm Cydid Italia SRL that could help the visually-impaired and perhaps even replace guide dogs.

The handheld PC is equipped with a GPS receiver and a detachable microcamera. It comes bundled with facial and textual recognition software, and also an elementary form of “people recognition and obstacle detection,” Cydid claimed.

“It uses existing technologies like GPS and converts text data to voice. It will help the visually-impaired move better by using the power of a microprocessor, camera and computer,” said Iris managing director Datuk Tan Say Jim.

“The camera stores maps and images. It will tell the person where to go and is able to identify a person,” he told reporters earlier this week after a charity open house also attended by Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad.