Smart Glasses: A Boon for Visually Impaired People

Dr Stephen Hicks, who is a research fellow (neuroscience) at Oxford University has developed smart glasses to help visually impaired people recognize objects. This will help anybody with poor vision to overcome any barriers to his eyesight. These people can easily recognize objects, switch on their plasmas, cook food in their kitchens, or carry any normal activity which was otherwise difficult for them.

The glasses uses an arrangement of cameras to judge the objects around them like walls, electronic devices & gadgets and even people. Whatever they sense is processed into an intense light onto a screen to let them analyze the objects and people around or near them.

Dr. Hicks and his teammates at Oxford University recently won a grant of £500,000 to concentrate on the project and develop more glass pairs for a wider research. They aim at releasing the smart glasses probably by next year.

Dr. Hicks passion in neuroscience led him to discover how brain and technology can coordinate well to act beyond the barriers. He was basically studying Huntington’s disease almost 7 years ago before developing these glasses.

The smart glasses are based on the principle that a combination of a laser and 2 cameras can be used to recognize the objects. This information will then be displayed onto a computer screen to let them visualize it in the form of some well defined and bright colored shapes. Those with poor sight can utilize their residual vision as it had the tendency to perceive some motion and bright colored objects around them. The objects are not distinguishable if they are far away from them. The nearer the objects are, the brighter they will appear to their eyes.

The research was based on the fact that people with reduced or poor vision are not completely blind; they still had some vision that can help them recognize things around them in some form or the other. As per the latest consensus done by RNIB in UK, there are about 300,000 registered blind people and nearly two million with partial vision.

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