Having one’s vision impaired can be life altering; the way we go about our daily life, the things we can and cannot do have all been changed. Sure we could use seeing-eye dogs which are extremely effective, but compare the cost of training up a seeing-eye dog which is reportedly at 25,000 GBP, with a set of high-tech glasses which could potentially cost 500 GBP. In terms of cost effectiveness, it’s a no brainer.
Oxford scientists have designed a set of high-tech glasses (which has yet to be given a name) which they claim will radically change the life of those suffering from certain visual impairment disorders, such as macular degeneration or diabetes-induced retinopathy.
How these glasses are supposed to work is through the use of a camera and a LED display, which are used as the “lens” of the glasses. The camera functions very much like how augmented reality systems work, by observing the scene in front of the wearer, processing the image and detecting things like obstacles, roads, people and also calculating the distance between the wearer and said obstacles.
It’s a pretty clever idea, perhaps one stop away from actual bionic eyes. Unfortunately, these high-tech glasses are only prototypes for now, although the National Institute of Health Research has given the scientists a sizeable chunk of funding in order to conduct a feasibility study. Perhaps we might start seeing (no pun intended) these high-tech glasses sooner than we think.