Ultrasonic goggles help visually impaired get around in a safer manner

Researchers over at the Universidad Carlos III in Madrid, Spain, have managed to come up with something that will have visually impaired folks cheer up – a pair of ultrasonic goggles that intends to make it safer and easier to get around. If you have partial sight, this pair of goggles is said to deliver “Terminator-style vision”. How is this achieved? Why, a couple of cameras that are mounted on a virtual reality headset will be connected to a small computer, where the device will then scan the area that lies in front of the wearer, showing off relevant information concerning the scene in the form of color-coded outlines, letting one know the distance, as well as shape of objects which are traditionally difficult to see or interpret.

Professor Ricardo Vergaz of the Electronics Technology Department heads this research team, and he said, “It detects objects and people who move within the visual field that a person with no visual pathologies would have. Very often the patient does not detect them due to problems of contrast. The information regarding depth is what is most missed by patients who use this type of technical aid.”

Testing is being done at the moment within a group of sample patients, and results are tipped to be rolled up before the year is over, where the findings will be used to improve on future models. No idea on whether a commercial version is in the pipeline, but we will keep a keen eye out.

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