Enabling technology is essentially the same as assistive technology, as discussed last week. The only difference is the perceived level of empowerment.
Enabling technology (sometimes called assistive technology) was not on my mind this week. Then I became aware of another evolving technology and knew that I should share. Copying directly from the TED synopsis:
Joseph Redmon works on the YOLO (You Only Look Once) system, an open-source method of object detection that can identify objects in images and video — from zebras to stop signs — with lightning-quick speed.
His work touches on many of my own activities. COSY has developed technology that enables IoT hardware to see as humans do. I love the work NuEyes is doing. I also like that they have two versions available. There is a simple model for folks who just want something a bit beyond basic magnification. They also have another version that should satisfy most of your inner geeks. Closer to home, I am trying to bring the ThirdEye Technologies app back to life. As you may remember, I acquired the associated assets earlier this year.
Back to Joseph…
So back to Joseph and his TED talk. He gave the talk in April 2017 so if you are a loyal TED talk follower, perhaps you have already seen it. For everyone else, I’d encourage you to invest 7+ minutes watching the talk. The highlight is that 10 years ago, technology struggled to discern the difference between a dog and cat. Dramatically more specificity is now available and the tech can run on a smartphone. Joseph talks about applying this technology to self-driving cars and even cancer detection. I just keep thinking how it will change the world for people who are blind.
GPS made the outside world accessible to people who are blind but the indoors have remained out of reach. Even the most gregarious of people who are blind need assistance when in an unfamiliar indoor environment. Imagine having to walk up to someone you don’t know and can’t see, and ask for their help. As enabling technology becomes ever more powerful, I envision a day when the person who is blind can guide the person who is sighted. Will that finally tip the unemployment scales so we can eliminate that ugly 70% unemployment statistic? I certainly hope so!
I will keep the post short this week to encourage you to hear Joseph’s encouraging talk.