OrCam Camera Aids Visually Impaired

November 7, 2013

The eyeglass-mounted device uses sophisticated computer vision algorithms running on Freescale’s i.MX 6Quad processor to interpret visual inputs, helping people with visual impairments interact more easily with the world around them.

TEL AVIV, Israel /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- Freescale Semiconductor is powering a compelling new application from Israeli startup OrCam that helps people with visual impairments interact more easily with the world around them. The OrCam solution is a compact, eyeglass-mounted device that uses sophisticated computer vision algorithms running on Freescale's high-performance, energy-efficient i.MX 6Quad applications processor to interpret visual inputs and communicate their meaning in real time to the person wearing the device.

Freescale's i.MX 6Quad processor provides the OrCam product with the processing power required to execute highly advanced computer vision algorithms. The processor's integrated camera interface reduces the end-product form factor by eliminating the need for additional components, and the chip's advanced power management capabilities provide exceptional power efficiency for long battery life.

"The i.MX 6Quad processor delivered outstanding performance well within the power envelope we needed to design a wearable, affordable, and intuitive solution for people whose visual impairments prevent them from easily interacting with the world around them," said Amnon Shashua, co-founder of OrCam and the Sachs professor of computer science at the Hebrew University. "With Freescale's highly advanced i.MX 6Quad device, OrCam is able to help compensate for lost vision and dramatically improve quality of life for the visually impaired."

The OrCam product is comprised of a small unit mounted on the wearer's eyeglasses and includes a small camera, microphone, and bone conduction headphone. Designed with an intuitive user interface, the wearer simply points at an object or text with his or her finger, and the device then interprets and reads it.

The i.MX 6Quad processor integrates four ARM® Cortex-A9 cores, running up to 1.2 GHz, delivering the processing performance to handle the massive amounts of data captured by the OrCam product's visual sensor. This performance allows execution of all processing algorithms and software speech codecs on a single chip. i.MX 6Quad processors support computer vision algorithms that allow OrCam to recognize a broad range of inputs, from the faces of friends who walk into a room to text in newspapers and books to transit signs, traffic signals, and everyday objects of all sorts.

"This design win underscores Freescale's role as a premier provider of embedded intelligence for the fast-growing wearables and intelligent healthcare markets," said Shmuel Barkan, Joint General Manager and Director of Sales and Marketing for Freescale Israel. "The i.MX 6Quad applications processor is fueling new categories of applications and, in this instance, is providing the processing power to enable a novel and extremely compelling product that is profoundly transforming the lives of people with visual impairments."

Tweet This: @Freescale's i.MX 6Quad helps the visually impaired see by enabling the OrCam. See it in action online.

OrCam demonstration and keynote at DwF Israel seminar
A demonstration of the OrCam device will be given at the Designing with Freescale (DwF) seminar in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Nov. 6. In addition, OrCam's co-founder, professor Amnon Shashua, will be the keynote speaker at the event. To learn more about how OrCam is powered by Freescale technology, visit the company's Web site.

About i.MX 6 series applications processors
The i.MX 6 series of quad-, dual-, and single-core applications processors are designed to deliver outstanding performance and scalability to manufacturers targeting a range of applications. Based on 40 nm process technology, the i.MX 6Quad processors integrate four ARM Cortex-A9 cores running at up to 1.2 GHz each, with an array of integrated IP and dynamic power management capabilities to deliver outstanding performance, scalability, and energy efficiency. For more information about the i.MX 6 series of processors, please visit the company's Web site.

About Freescale
Freescale Semiconductor is a global leader in embedded processing solutions, providing industry-leading products advancing the automotive, consumer, industrial, and networking markets. From microprocessors and microcontrollers to sensors, analog integrated circuits, and connectivity—our technologies are the foundation for the innovations that make our world greener, safer, healthier, and more connected. Some of our key applications and end markets include automotive safety, hybrid and all-electric vehicles, next-generation wireless infrastructure, smart energy management, portable medical devices, consumer appliances, and smart mobile devices. The company is based in Austin, TX, and has design, research and development, manufacturing, and sales operations around the world.

Freescale and the Freescale logo are trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor Inc. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners. ARM is the registered trademark of ARM Ltd. Cortex is the trademark of ARM Ltd.

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