You’re already thinking of Google Glass, but this isn’t that. It seems Google isn’t the only company working on glasses that can aid your day-to-day routine, because the researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid have been working on headwear that helps the visually impaired see better.
Instead of allowing you to take pictures, map a course to Starbucks, or hang out with friends in virtual Hangouts, these are made with the sole intention of helping the visually impaired see better. Using a head mounted display, two cameras analyse and draw things in your path, highlighting objects and color coding depending on their distance. Those with glaucoma and other impairments making depth perception difficult will find this invention very useful indeed.
“This device is aimed at people who would bump into everything that they fail to see because of their loss of visual field, caused by glaucoma, retinal pathologies, etc.”, states the head of the project Professor Ricardo Vergaz, of UC3M’s Electronics Technology Department.
The invention is being trialed in collaboration with the Instituto de Oftalmología Aplicada (Institute for Applied Ophthalmology - IOBA) at the Universidad de Valladolid. “After testing the device on a representative sample population of patients who could use it, the IOBA will inform us of their final results at the end of this year; this will allow us to evaluate the success and validity of its performance and then improve it”, comments Ricardo Vergaz.
The next goal is to make the unit smaller. It protrudes from the head, and isn’t as small as Google’s Glass project. The hope is that it can fit in a pocket, and with today’s technology, there’s nothing to say it can’t happen.