What if your daily walk to work became a challenge? What if you had a constant fear of being hit by an obstacle or to fall? This is what millions of people live with: blind and visually impaired people, elderly people, people who suffer from hearing loss, from a spatial neglect, or pretty much anyone who doesn't feel completely aware and comfortable walking in a city center.
biped brings self-driving cars features to a small harness that can detect incoming obstacles.
biped is an all-in-one mobility aid. It's a smart harness, worn on shoulders, that uses computer vision to help avoid obstacles. The cameras can detect surrounding obstacles, track them, predict potential collision risks, and generate a sound feedback whenever the person is at risk of being hit by an obstacle.
The sound feedback is played in headphones, like a parking assist of a car: "beep, beep, beep", getting faster as the obstacle comes closer.
The market of assistive devices for blind and visually impaired people is hard. It's regulated (medical device), niche, traditional social media won't work... So why the hell did we start with this?
When we started prototyping in summer 2020, we had lots of hopes and ambition, software skills, and that's mostly it. We didn't know precisely the end-users, beyond the common knowledge on the accessibility challenges of blind and visually impaired people. So we involved end-users, low vision professionals, hospitals, associations, national federations...
To date, over 350 people were involved in beta-testing biped
Now onto the next challenge, none of use had a single clue how to develop hardware. We had to find the right people to work with. We partnered with VF Ingénierie which really allowed us to develop our hardware faster, and cheaper. We literally had to create something that had never been done. There is no track-record of a camera-based obstacle avoidance device that you wear on your shoulders.
This is what we came up with:
This is a video that I really like. We showcased it for the very first time at CES 2023 in Las Vegas. It shows one of our previous prototypes, live, in the streets in Lausanne. Ali, Saliou and Pierre are 3 of our regular testers. In this video, you can see them avoid obstacles and anticipate collisions with simple sound feedback in headphones.
After a couple of months of commercialization and over 6 countries served already, we're now working on what the future of biped will be. I can't tell too much for now, but we have an unmatched ambition in our field...
If you'd like to: invest / distribute / help promote / put us in contact with someone you know, just send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Oh, and here's everywhere we've shipped a biped device for now :)