Trek GPS and reader device helps people with vision loss to see, just differently

HumanWare, a global provider of assistive technology for people with vision loss, has developed the Victor Reader Trek GPS and reader device. It’s been supported in this by Lantronix Inc., a global provider of Software as a Service (SaaS), engineering services and hardware for Edge Computing, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Remote Environment Management (REM).

HumanWare worked closely with Lantronix’s Engineering and Embedded Compute Solutions teams and utilised its intelligent edge Open-Q 410 System on Module (SOM) technology to jumpstart the design and quickly bring the device to market.

“Lantronix’s partnership with Qualcomm gave us access to advanced technology through a single source, which helped reduce costs and improved our speed to market,” says Alain Belanger, project director for HumanWare. “The Lantronix team knew exactly how to customise the Open-Q 410 SOM to meet our highly specialised application. They helped us deliver on the concept and quickly get the product to market.”

Challenge: Create a handheld device to help people with vision loss to see, differently

HumanWare’s design team chose the Lantronix Open-Q 410 SOM, an ultra-small, production-ready module based on the powerful 410 Series APQ8016 processor from Qualcomm Technologies Inc. (QTI). In addition, HumanWare’s team chose Lantronix as it had the expertise and proven track record of offering SOM customization services, making functionality and affordability possible for the Victor Reader Trek application.

The project’s challenges included creating a small, handheld device with the following features:

  • An advanced, easy-to-use user interface
  • GPS software and accelerometer sensors
  • Built-in reader for books, music and podcasts
  • Power management for ultra-long battery life

The Victor Reader Trek gives people the ability to navigate their surroundings beyond the traditional visual-map-based “Point A to B” of a GPS device. It also serves as a reader for books, music and podcasts. Of the multiple operating systems supported by the Open-Q 410 SOM, HumanWare chose open-source Linux to facilitate smooth integration and easy upgrades. Linux is a powerful, stable platform that provides a long life for the device.

Quick and affordable delivery to market

Utilising Lantronix’s Open-Q 410 SOM, the HumanWare design team was able to quickly and affordably create the Victor Reader Trek, a lightweight durable device with an intuitive user interface and an ultra-long battery life. Its intuitive user interface gives people with vision loss the ability to navigate their surroundings by utilising the built-in GPS. Its built-in reader also enables users to listen to books, music and podcasts. Since users tend to keep HumanWare devices for years, being able to implement fast, easy upgrades is a significant advantage.

“HumanWare’s Trek utilises Lantronix’s advanced embedded IoT compute technology to deliver a GPS and reader device which enables people with vision loss to better navigate the world,” says Jonathan Shipman, VP of Strategy for Lantronix. “Lantronix’s Open-Q 410 SOM technology enabled HumanWare to affordably jumpstart the design, create a usable prototype and quickly get the powerful Trek device to market.”

The Lantronix Open-Q 410 SOM is an ultra-small, production-ready module based upon the powerful 410 Series APQ8016 quad-core processor from Qualcomm Technologies Inc. Lantronix’s Open‐Q 410 Embedded Development Kit is a versatile, easy‐to‐use exposed board platform that provides the ideal starting point for creating next-generation embedded and IoT devices. The platform consists of the Lantronix Open‐Q 410 SOM, a carrier board exposing all the available IO and a range of accessories to fast-track product development.

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