Super Lidar: How It Works Now, and How It Could Change The Future

Technology, Accessibility
Shane Lowe
2 minutes reading time
March 26, 2021

When we began developing Supersense, we started with some navigational ideas that eventually became object explorer and object finder. These features, which are part of Supersense today, allow users to learn the names of objects in their environment. Object explorer speaks the name of every object it can recognize, while object finder will enable you to select which objects you want Supersense to announce. We took a break to focus on OCR technology after those two features, but we never forgot about navigation. Then, at the beginning of 2021, we revisited our passion for navigational technology with Super Lidar, just in time when Apple started to implement the LiDAR technology in their consumer electronics.
Super Lidar relies on the modern application of Lidar technology in the iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and iPad Pro to tell users about objects, but it works quite differently from Supersense. Super Lidar focuses more on distances and orientation and less on identifying every single object in a given environment.

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For example, if you're traveling down a sidewalk and the path ahead is clear, you will hear some soft beeping to indicate that the way is open. You will begin to get tonal feedback when an obstacle is detected in view, which could be up to 15 feet away. If Super Lidar recognizes the name of what it sees, the voice will tell you, but Super Lidar doesn't identify as many objects as Supersense. It currently recognizes some essential items like doors and seats and people. As you approach the obstacle, the pitch of the feedback will descend, and the phone will begin to vibrate as well to indicate how close you are getting to the obstacle.
Currently, Super Lidar's goal is to help with orientation and the user's understanding of their environment. We're working on adding new objects that the app can detect and a variety of settings to control the types of feedback you receive since each user is different. Super Lidar is designed for use while traveling. You could be walking down a block, exploring a new building, or following someone in line, and Super Lidar is geared to provide useful information for all of these things.
In the future, our goal is to keep Super Lidar as universal as possible. We'd like this app to be useful to any user, no matter their location, and plan to add features accordingly. We want to keep navigation simple and let you know the information you may have never gotten to know about your environment before.
This is our hope, but as always, we develop our apps based on what you want to see. If there's something you'd like to do with Super Lidar, please let us know! After all, it's those comments that actually decide the future.

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