Congratulations to Lee Stearns for Passing His PhD Proposal Today

Jon E. Froehlich Nov 17, 2016

Congratulations to CS PhD student Lee Stearns for passing his PhD proposal today entitled "HandSight: A Touch-Based Wearable System to Increase Information Accessibility for People with Visual Impairments." This is exciting and important work that has recently received media attention from New Scientist, PC Magazine, and other venues. We look forward to seeing the proposed work come to fruition! [read more]

Project Sidewalk featured in the local news!

Manaswi Saha Nov 17, 2016

Project Sidewalk was covered by a DC TV station, WUSA9. Check out the video coverage and the news report now! This is exciting! [read more]

HandSight Featured in PC Magazine

Lee Stearns Nov 14, 2016

The HandSight project was recently featured in PC Magazine. The article described our work in using a finger-mounted camera to read printed text. Quote: A group of scientists at the University of Maryland have come up with a novel solution to the problem of allowing the visually impaired to read. The team, led by assistant professor of computer science Jon Froehlich, developed a device that allows blind people to read text without the aid of braille, which isn't always available. Read more at PC Magazine: Fingertip Camera Reads to the Blind [read more]

Project Sidewalk Presented at the GroupSight Workshop

Kotaro Hara Nov 10, 2016

Kotaro Hara gave an invited presentation about the Project Sidewalk at GroupSight workshop, held in Austin Texas during the HCOMP conference this year. In the presentation, Kotaro introduced our work on locating sidewalk accessibility features by combining crowdsourcing, computer vision, machine learning, and Google Street View. [read more]

HandSight Featured in New Scientist

Lee Stearns Nov 09, 2016

The HandSight project was recently featured in New Scientist, a British science and technology magazine. The article described our work in using a finger-mounted camera to read printed text. New Scientist: Tiny fingertip camera helps blind people read without braille [read more]

Accessibility Research Team at the Diversity in Computing Summit

Manaswi Saha Nov 08, 2016

We were honored to participate in the inaugural Diversity in Computing Summit. Makeability Lab and Inclusive Design Lab members presented a joint session on their accessibility research. The session, entitled "Interactive Computational Tools for Accessibility," covered work on Project Sidewalk (by Manaswi Saha), Temporal Tracking of Accessibility Features in Cities (by Ladan Najafizadeh) , Health and Fitness for the Mobility Impaired (by Meethu Malu), Accessible On-body Interaction for the Visually Impaired (by Uran Oh) and HandSight (by Lee Stearns). Talk slides are available here. [read more]

Technica: Tech+Design talk

Majeed Kazemitabaar Nov 03, 2016

We were happy to be invited to speak at the Tech+Design workshop at Technica, the largest all-women hackathon in the US. Four Makeability Lab members spoke (Soheil, Manaswi, Liang, and Majeed) who talked about their research, their design process, and designing for social impact. [read more]

HandSight Presentation at ASSETS 2016

Lee Stearns Oct 26, 2016

Lee Stearns presented the HandSight team's work at the ASSETS 2016 conference, held in Reno, Nevada this year. The presentation covered our recently published TACCESS journal article titled "Evaluating Haptic And Auditory Directional Guidance To Assist Blind People In Reading Printed Text Using Finger-Mounted Cameras." [read more]

Project SqueezaPulse Conditionally Accepted by TEI'17

Liang He Oct 14, 2016

We are excited to announce that Project SqueezaPulse has been conditionally accepted to TEI 2017 Papers. [read more]

Project Sidewalk in The Diamondback

Jon E. Froehlich Oct 13, 2016

The UMD newspaper, The Diamondback, just wrote a nice piece on Project Sidewalk. Check it out here! [read more]