Who’s There? Providing The Power of Visual Recognition to the Visually Impaired

Who’s There? Providing The Power of Visual Recognition to the Visually Impaired

The W.K. Kellogg Eye Center is home to the University of Michigan Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, which is part of the University of Michigan Medical School and the University of Michigan Health System.

In the academic and professional setting, the ability to instantly recognize people around you is a significant asset. The ability to know who is seated in a particular seat at a conference room or lunch table is currently not available to those with low vision: immediate greetings and directed conversation can become awkward and cumbersome, leading to social isolation.

Students on this project team will leverage existing facial recognition software capabilities and will utilize off the shelf video and audio technology to develop a low-cost solution: a tool to help the visually impaired know “Who’s There?” in their immediate surroundings. If well-designed and executed, this tool will have significant benefits for both students and faculty who are affected by low vision.

More Information: 2017-WhosThere


Students who work on this project will display their work at the University of Michigan Presidential Symposium to celebrate the Bicentennial on October 26th, 2017.  Leaders in industry and academia will judge the projects for creativity and innovation, awarding $25,000 to the best student projects.

More Information: Campus of the Future


How to Apply

Project Features

  • Skill level All levels
  • Students 5-7
  • Likely Majors CE, CS, ECE, EE, SMTD-PAT
  • Course Substitutions EECS 498, CSE-G, EE MDE, Honors, CE MDE, Data Science Capstone, ECE Cognate
  • IP & NDA Required? No
  • Summer Opportunity Summer Funding Application
  • Video Processing and Manipulation (2 Students)

    Video formats, sensors, imaging processing and recognition algorithms.

    • Likely Majors: EE, CE, ECE, CSE/CS-LSA
  • Audio Signal Processing (2 Students)

    Recording technologies, Audio Signal Processing

    • Likely Majors: EE, ECE, SMTD-PAT
  • Hardware Integration (2 Students)

    • Likely Majors: EE, CE, ECE, CSE/CS-LSA

Faculty Mentor: David Chesneyportrait
Lecturer in Computer Science and Engineering
I have the absolute pleasure and privilege of teaching Computer Science students at both the beginning of their undergraduate academic experience and at the end. Currently, I teach mostly ENG100 Gaming for the Greater Good and EECS481 Software Engineering (although I have taught many other courses during my time at U-M).
sherrySponsor Mentor: Sherry H. Day
Contact Lens, Low Vision and Visual Rehabilitation
Clinical Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences