Here is one of the talented teams that has been selected for the famous bootcamp which will take place from March 24th to 26th. They will come to defend their project SoundMap. This project consists of a smart device, equipped with a camera, that guides the users in a smart way using audio. Their exciting interview is below.
Introduce yourselves (Who are you? Where do you come from? How many members does your team have?)
We are a team of 3 founders. Maël manages the business development. He is a PhD student at both Idiap and EPFL in speech processing, he lives near Lausanne. Bruno is a graduate computer vision engineer from Aachen, in Germany. He recently moved to Lausanne for SoundMap and works on all technical aspects of the project. Finally, Rudolf is a German speech processing engineer, who has been living in Montreux for a year now and focuses on the sound feedback that the device produces.
We are also grateful to be joined by several students from EPFL, including Andrés, Anita, Guillaume, Syrine and Fares, who work on software and hardware topics, as well as Estelle, who handles the partnerships and legal aspects.
What are the main motivations that led you to apply for the Arkathon Program?
We have working prototypes of our solution, partners we tested it with, but we are at a stage where we need to co-develop and adapt our device based on comments and feedback from experts. We would like to benefit from this unique expertise and do what we do best: take this feedback into account and improve our device!
What is your project about?
SoundMap is a smart device for blind and visually impaired people that uses cameras and audio to guide the user in new environments in a smart way. The device is meant to be discrete to wear and affordable, while increasing the safety of users.
What needs does it respond to? How is it innovative?
There are more than 300 million visually impaired people in the world. Avoiding obstacles, finding objects, and navigating in unknown environments are often cited as the largest pains in their daily life. Discovering new places requires systematic assistance. We aim to bring latest improvements from the industry of artificial intelligence in order for users to gain autonomy.
What do you think makes your approach to the bootcamp different?
We have existing partnerships, and based on ideas, feedback and pieces of advice collected during the bootcamp, we plan to develop new solutions quickly, and test them. We believe that our iterative approach with some key partners and the potentially life-changing solution we are building can make a difference!
A final word?
We are really excited to join the bootcamp, and we are really looking forward to it! Our team is super motivated. We truly believe that the combination of real immersion in the medical ecosystem and our quick prototyping skills can have a great impact.
For more information on this project, you can consult their profile linkedIn: linkedin.com/company/soundmap-io
Discover the interview of the second team participating to the bootcamp: A fun rehabilitation thanks to the Ubique Tech project