While most tech companies are focusing on developing wearables for the average consumer like you and me, there is a market for the disabled that most companies either seem to neglect or aren’t putting too much emphasis on. Well it looks like Microsoft has discovered that it is a relatively untapped market because according to reports, Microsoft is working on a wearable device aimed at the blind/visually impaired.
According to the Sunday Times, the device is currently being tested by a small group of eight blind people in Reading in the UK. While Microsoft has not dived into details regarding this particular wearable, one of the ways it works is by identifying objects around the wearer and then relay that information back to them via an earpiece.
This will allow blind people to “see” what’s around them, so it could describe something they’re about to eat, a building, an object, and can even help them navigate their way around so that that they don’t bump into any objects or other people. According to Cities Unlocked, a joint initiative between Microsoft, Guide Dogs and the Future Cities Catapult, “We look forward to sharing more details of the project later this year.”
The BBC also claims to have learnt that this particular wearable is not seen by Microsoft as a potential competitor to Google’s own wearables effort, Google Glass, which we guess makes sense as they both have been designed for different use.