Wear­able tech to en­able the dis­abled

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TECH­NOL­OGY - By tAN KIt HOONG bytz@ thes­tar. com. my

THE world’s biggest car com­pany wants to har­ness the po­ten­tial of wear­able tech­nol­ogy in or­der to give the vis­ually im­paired more free­dom and greater personal mo­bil­ity.

The wear­able item in ques­tion, dubbed Project Blaid, won’t be a wrist­band but a shoul­der mounted de­vice that car­ries all of the sen­sors and tech­nol­ogy needed to help “fill in the gaps left by canes, dogs and ba­sic de­vices” said Toy­ota.

It will use cam­eras to mon­i­tor the space around the user and help him or her come to un­der­stand their sur­round­ings via spo­ken de­scrip­tions or vibrations.

Toy­ota plans to equip the de­vice so that it can help a per­son nav­i­gate in­door spa­ces such as shop­ping malls, but also in the hopes that it will even­tu­ally lead to spa­tial map­ping in gen­eral as well as fa­cial recog­ni­tion.

“We want to ex­tend the free­dom of mo­bil­ity for all, no mat­ter their cir­cum­stance, lo­ca­tion or abil­ity,” said Si­mon Na­gata, Toy­ota Mo­tor North Amer­ica’s ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent and chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer.

The project is part of a larger US10­bil ( RM41­bil) in­vest­ment in AI. – AFP Re­laxnews VIDEO stream­ing ser­vice iflix has se­cured an­other round of fund­ing from Euro­pean en­ter­tain­ment com­pany Sky PLC and In­done­sian com­pany Emtek Group.

Sky has in­vested US$ 45mil ( about RM185mil) in iflix which will also see Sky’s pro­gram­ming be­ing in­te­grated into iflix’s li­brary over time.

The value of Emtek Group’s in­vest­ment, via its sub­sidiary Surya Ci­tra Me­dia, has not been dis­closed.

The funds will be used to help ac­cel­er­ate the com­pany’s growth in Malaysia, Thai­land and the Philip­pines as well as ex­pand into new mar­kets which, con­sid- er­ing Emtek’s in­vest­ment, should in­clude In­done­sia.

“In re­sponse to both the rapid growth and cus­tomer adop­tion in our ex­ist­ing mar­kets and strong de­mand from new mar­kets, we have de­cided to ac­cel­er­ate our ex­pan­sion plans sooner than ex­pected,” said group CEO Mark Britt.

“The in­vest­ment will sup­port our con­tin­u­ing com­mit­ment to pro­vide our mem­bers with the best in en­ter­tain­ment.”

This lat­est round of fund­ing fol­lows a US$ 30mil ( RM123mil) cap­i­tal in­jec­tion from the Catcha Group and the Philip­pines Long Dis­tance Tele­phone Com­pany last year.

iflix cur­rently has over one mil­lion sub­scribers.

Video stream­ing ser­vice iflix is avail­able on many de­vices.

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