Press Esc to close
Friday 29 August 2014
News updated at 12:45 PM IST
Weather
Max: 25.6°C
Min : 19.7°C
In Bangalore
Generally cloudy

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
Union Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda during a visit to Ernakulam railway station in Kochi ...

Union Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda during a visit to Ernakulam railway station in Kochi ...

Bomb Squad members checking a suspected bag found at Bandra Station in Mumbai ...

Bomb Squad members checking a suspected bag found at Bandra Station in Mumbai ...

Red Cross workers walk through an Ebola hit area  in Monrovia, Liberia ...

Red Cross workers walk through an Ebola hit area in Monrovia, Liberia ...

Models take part in awareness campaign 'Save Ganga and Green India' in Bhopal ...

Models take part in awareness campaign 'Save Ganga and Green India' in Bhopal ...

Siddaramiah presenting kit to a beneficiary  during launch of 'Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana' ...

Siddaramiah presenting kit to a beneficiary during launch of 'Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana' ...

Ganesh idol made of dry fruits ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai ...

Ganesh idol made of dry fruits ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai ...

A young girl viewing Ganesh statues for sale on the eve of the Ganesh Chaturthi in Jaipur ...

A young girl viewing Ganesh statues for sale on the eve of the Ganesh Chaturthi in Jaipur ...

Team owners Sachin Tendulkar and Ranbir Kapoor during the launch of Indian Super League ...

Team owners Sachin Tendulkar and Ranbir Kapoor during the launch of Indian Super League ...

John Abraham, signs a football during the launch of the Indian Super League, in Mumbai ...

John Abraham, signs a football during the launch of the Indian Super League, in Mumbai ...

Founding chairperson Nita Ambani at the launch of the Indian Super League in Mumbai ...

Founding chairperson Nita Ambani at the launch of the Indian Super League in Mumbai ...

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