UMaine VEMI Lab Working to Improve Independence of Blind and Visually-Impaired People

Dr. Richard Corey serving as the UMaine Principal Investigator with Hari Palani as the Unar Labs Principal Investigator, receive $225,000 National Science Foundation grant to develop a multimodal interface to improve independence of Blind and Visually-Impaired people.

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will be to promote empowerment of millions of blind and visually-impaired (BVI) people by enabling greater independence, supporting increased educational attainment, proliferation of vocational opportunities, and enhancing their overall quality of life. There are currently no commercial solutions for providing BVI users with an assistive technology (AT) solution that allows BVI users to seamlessly access textual and graphical information via a unified system. Towards meeting this greater goal, this Phase I SBIR project addresses key challenges relating to technical feasibility in creating the core algorithms of Midlina and the functional viability proving that BVI users will find practical utility in its application.

Given that vision loss is expected to double in the next 20 years owing to age-related eye diseases experienced by the rapidly aging population, this project will have significant economic benefits for the State/Federal agencies providing support services to BVI and aging population.

For more information on the research, consult the VEMI Lab website.

CITATION: 2019  NSF, “Development of a multimodal interface for improving independence of Blind and Visually-Impaired people”; (R.R. Corey, UMaine (PI); with H.P. Palani (PI) and N.A. Giudice, Unar Labs).