A blind man ran 5 kilometers in Central Park, New York, without relying on a dog or human help, using only artificial intelligence via headphones placed in a smartphone.
The smartphone’s camera captures a guide line drawn on the running track, and the app detects the person’s location and provides him with audio instructions via the earphone.
“The safest thing for a blind man is to stay in his place, but I don’t stay in my place,” said Thomas Panek, 50, who lost his sight in his early twenties due to a genetic condition and now runs a school for dogs used to help the blind.
The man, passionate about marathons, was tired of using slow dogs to guide him, and decided about a year ago to find a way to run alone.
Banik, who believes that people are “born to run”, turned to Google to find a way for the phone to “show him the way,” so he collaborated with her to set up a search program.