The next frontier in accessibility techBy Vision Technologies
Wearable tech is fast becoming an exciting space, as watches, glasses, jackets and more come onto the market. One such product is of course Google Glass, with a promotion in the works from Google’s experimental lab to commercialisation. Other players are also producing smart glasses, looking to change the way we interact with the world around us.
A company called Vision Technologies is looking to build on upcoming smart glass technology with software for a very particular societal benefit. Two of the developers behind their product GiveVision are blind, and the company has pioneered the world’s first blind-friendly user interface for smart glasses.
GiveVision is an app that is installed on a wearer’s device – providing feedback on the space around, and using image recognition features and algorithms to let them know what’s happening. The software gives access to printed text, assists the wearer to find a seat on a bus or train, allows them to shop confidently with recognised banknotes, and more – including integration with other smartphone apps for messaging and calls.
With over 285 million people blind or visually impaired globally, applying GiveVision’s software to smart glass hardware has the potential to help a huge segment of society achieve greater independence.
Initial testing is very positive and sessions are ongoing, with Vision Technologies working with organisations such as the RLSB, RNC, and centres and societies for the blind. Prototypes have so far used Vuzix and Lumus smart glasses in a vision for the technology to be platform agnostic.
GiveVision will go to market soon, and they’re looking for people to sign up as a user or to organise trials. Vision Technologies is based in London, and all the information is available through their website. If you have a user in mind, take a look.
Image 'Walking Stick' courtesy of Theodore Lee.
Last updated: 25th of September, 2015