We’re now officially in the midst of a small-scale GPS renaissance. Hot on the heels of another technology giant filing to patent a smart wristband navigator that can peer around corners, Toyota has issued the diagrams for a connected necklace that takes the concept several steps further with depth-sensing cameras and advanced object recognition.
The pair of large stereo cameras on each end have a wide binocular field of view not unlike that of the human eye that allows the onboard navigation software to pull some very impressive tricks. That includes making out signage and alerting the wearer if a warning or a hazard symbol is detected through the built-in speaker, which is the main source of navigational instructions.
The other is a vibration motor that goes off in conjunction with the audio feedback when major obstacles like that are encountered. But Toyota is not stopping there. Just in case you want a better look at what it is exactly that the necklace is telling you to avoid, some configurations will apparently have the cameras installed on detachable units with independent power supply.
Yet although it’s probably the most exciting, urban exploring is only one of applications that Toyota envisions for the necklace. Its main uses are in much more mundane situations like finding your way around a mall, quickly spotting a desired items on a store shelf or picking out a face from a crowded airport. And that’s just the tip of the connected iceberg.