For limited vision, smartglasses provide assistance

Researchers from Oxford University are getting ready to test their smartglasses, a development to...

Researchers from Oxford University are getting ready to test their smartglasses, a development to aid the legally blind. (Oxford University)

Relaxnews

, Last Updated: 11:02 AM ET

They don't replace vision, but a new pair of high-tech glasses greatly enhance it for those affected by a variety of conditions that severely limit the visual field.

The invention, unveiled by researchers at Oxford University, uses technology to alert users to objects they are otherwise unable to see and enables a variety of capabilities such as facial recognition.

"The idea of the smartglasses is to give people with poor vision an aid that boosts their awareness of what's around them -- allowing greater freedom, independence and confidence to get about, and a much improved quality of life," says research team leader Dr. Stephen Hicks of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Oxford.

Although cumbersome, the device uses technology to its fullest advantage, the main component being a specially designed video camera installed on the frame.

The camera's unique software processes images in the field of vision, making them apparent to the user by communicating with a small, corresponding computer processing unit.

"We eventually want to have a product that will look like a regular pair of glasses and cost no more than a few hundred pounds -- about the same as a smartphone," says Dr. Hicks.

Users have remarked on the glasses' strong capabilities to work in a variety of lighting conditions, particularly dim light, which is known to limit visibility even for those without vision problems.

Dr. Hicks and his team are anticipating a 30-person clinical trial during which they plan to install obstacle courses and test the glasses in a wide range of lighting.

Watch: www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0r_7koevhw


Videos

Photos