Using Computer Vision to Support Accessibility for People with Visual Impairments
James M. Coughlan received his B.A. in physics at Harvard University in 1990 and completed his Ph.D. in physics there in 1998. He is currently a Senior Scientist at The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco, California. His main research focus is the use of computer vision and sensor technologies to facilitate greater accessibility of the physical environment for blind and visually impaired persons. Current and past accessibility projects include the development of systems to provide audio-haptic access to physical objects such as documents and 3D models, the ability to find and read signs and other textual information, and navigation assistance indoors and at traffic intersections. He is also interested in probabilistic methods in computer and human vision, particularly the use of graphical models and belief propagation for visual search, segmentation and 3D stereo.