Press Esc to close
Saturday 31 January 2015
News updated at 3:28 PM IST
Weather
Max: 28°C
Min : 17°C
In Bengaluru
Sunny day

Smart spectacles to replace canes and guide dogs

London, Nov 23, 2012, PTI:

New cheap high-tech spectacles for the visually impaired that could replace the white canes and guide dogs may be available in two years.

Researchers claim the devices are designed to prevent “legally blind” individuals with a small degree of residual vision from bumping into objects.

Using tiny stereoscopic cameras within the frames, the specs project simplified images onto the lenses which shine more brightly the closer the wearer gets to obstacles, the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.

The glasses will be tested in a series of trials starting in January next year involving 160 people with severely impaired sight in Oxford and London.

Developer Dr Stephen Hicks, from Oxford University, said he hoped a finished model will be commercially available in around two years.

The cost is expected to be around 600 pounds - slightly more than a smartphone. In comparison, a guide dog costs up to 30,000 pounds to train.

Hicks said the spectacles were designed as a navigational aid, not to restore lost vision.
“The glasses work using a pair of cameras that determine the distance of objects and we simply translate that into a light display,” he said. “This is not restoring sight, but we can improve spatial awareness,” said Hicks.

Around 300,000 people in the UK are registered as legally blind. Of these, 90 per cent possess some residual vision allowing them to detect blurry shapes and differences between light and dark, the report said. Research has shown that fewer than half of people who are legally blind attempt to leave their homes on a daily basis, said Hicks.

“The aim is to increase the independence of the hundreds of thousands of people who are visually impaired in the UK,” he added.

A pilot study last year is said to have yielded “very encouraging” results. Volunteers trying out the glasses managed to master them within a few minutes. “People were able to recognise where a table was, where a wall was, and when a person was five metres away,” said Hicks.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
A visitor takes a 'selfie' in front of an exhibit titled 'Circle Uncircled' by artist Rahul Kumar...

A visitor takes a 'selfie' in front of an exhibit titled 'Circle Uncircled' by artist Rahul Kumar...

A tightrope walker is silhouetted against the setting sun as she holds a balancing pole...

A tightrope walker is silhouetted against the setting sun as she holds a balancing pole...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of his death...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of his death...

President Pranab Mukherjee paying tributes to father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi...

President Pranab Mukherjee paying tributes to father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi...

Lawyers stop a train at Moradabad Railway Station on Friday during a protest demanding...

Lawyers stop a train at Moradabad Railway Station on Friday during a protest demanding...

An elderly woman and a boy stand outside their house with walls damaged in alleged firing from...

An elderly woman and a boy stand outside their house with walls damaged in alleged firing from...

New recruits of the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) take oath during a graduation ceremony...

New recruits of the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) take oath during a graduation ceremony...

A groom leads his horse in the equine pool after working out on the track, during early morning...

A groom leads his horse in the equine pool after working out on the track, during early morning...

A handler bathes a horse after a training session ahead of the Indian Derby in Mumbai...

A handler bathes a horse after a training session ahead of the Indian Derby in Mumbai...

Ladakhi women offering prayers during the inauguration of traditional Buddhist prayer...

Ladakhi women offering prayers during the inauguration of traditional Buddhist prayer...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523