Scientists at the Department of Clinical Neurology at Oxford University are working on a prototype that would help people who have very little or blurry vision in their eyes look for things around them, and find directions and signposts.
The glasses that would look like a normal pair of glasses, would use technology that is readily available in cell phones and video game equipment like video cameras, face recognition and tracking, depth sensors etc. The glasses would have cameras fitted at the corners which would “look” at the object that’s in front of the wearer, and tiny led lights embedded in the glasses would transmit extra information about the object (see image above). The lights in the glasses are driven by a “smartphone like computer” that would be in the wearer’s pocket. The glasses would look discrete, thus allowing eye contact and encouraging social interaction. These glasses may also have barcode scanners and price tag readers built into them – features that are common in today’s smart phones. The glasses may cost around $800.
As I mentioned earlier, these glasses are still at very inititial stages. However, the good news is that the group has funding from the National Institute of Health Research to do a feasibility study. They plan to test the glasses on a few people later this year.