Google Japan is developing a technology that will enable people with visual impairments to go out jogging by themselves.
The runner attaches a smartphone with a special app installed to their abdomen. Its camera uses image-recognition AI to analyze the person's position and a line drawn on the ground.
If the runner is on-course, the device emits a soft sound. But if he deviates, the sound becomes louder, as a warning.
The company hopes to put the system to practical use.
Misono Masamitsu, who has a visual impairment, took part in this research. He says running by himself gave him a sense of freedom.
He notes that the marathon was originally a sport in which people ran by themselves, and this new technology provides the opportunity to enjoy marathons in their original form.
Google says it will continue to refine the system so that it performs even when the line is covered with fallen leaves or mud.