Rigor is Blindsight’s internal algorithm testing. It is the truth-defining system that is the backbone of the products that are created within the organization.
The more research Blindsight conducts, the less frail vision technology becomes. It was very frail over twenty years ago when two computer scientists came up with a standard thought and that was to make vision possible for the blind. This led to Blindsight co-founders Mark Nitzberg and Alan Yuille working on a portable device.
These were the initial steps that led to Rigor.
When Blindsight considers the possibilities of an idea, every angle is evaluated. For instance, remote assistance, which is known as Sight On Call, would be like GM OnStar for the blind. However, it does contain its own technical issues. Blindsight is currently exploring the ways to overcome these technical issues so that both the visually impaired and elderly can have a service that is available to them at the push of a wireless phone button. Obtaining directions to the doctor’s office, finding out what a sign says, and identifying an object are just some of the things that Sight On Call could assist with. However, it is understood that the individuals providing the assistance will have to specialize in more areas than the average customer service representative and that the service will need to be executed in a way that is affordable for the customers.
Blindsight’s research and data gathering methods will enable answers to be found, just as Blindsight has successfully found answers before in order to provide successful products affordably.
Blindsight also likes to utilize testers when a new product comes out. For instance, text Detective was tested and feedback provided by the volunteers. Currently, Magnifier is in the testing phase so that feedback can be obtained. This feedback helps ensure the product is as perfect as possible before it is released to the public.
And sometimes, research methods can seem rather primitive, but they can lead to much more advanced techniques. For example: In 2007, John Brayburn from the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute utilized the services of a blind researcher in which one person sat in front of a television with a telephone while the blind researcher had a telephone and a video camera. This simple experiment showed how remote assistance could be successful, allowing Blindsight to obtain a grant for remote service architecture in order to bring it to the world. This small experiment backed up the research conducted by Blindsight, bringing it one step closer to making this service available to the visually impaired and the elderly.
The overall system known as Rigor is one that is successful and duplicable. That is why Blindsight is opening it up to individuals who may wish to work with us on it, build upon it, or even license it. This is simply a part of Blindsight’s goal to make the world a much better place for the visually impaired, the elderly, and the world around these individuals.