Revolutionary glasses that describe to the visually impaired what they can’t see

Glasses that talk. This revolutionary system was developed by an Israeli company to help visually impaired people. These will describe the environment that surrounds them or even whisper a text that is pointed to.

These are somewhat special glasses. Equipped with artificial intelligence, they speak in the ear of visually impaired people to describe the world around them. One and a half million French people are visually impaired and even with the best glasses in the world, they have very poor vision and cannot read. But these glasses will turn their daily life upside down. They are equipped with a small, relatively discreet box that is the size of a large USB key, and weighs 25 grams. This case can be grafted onto the frames of any glasses and will read me and describe me by speaking in my ear the world around me.

On the right branch of the frame, there is a small camera, coupled with an artificial intelligence. All I have to do is point to an object, a text with my finger and this little box will take a picture, decipher the signs and read what is written in my ear. It could be a street name, a menu in a restaurant, a text message we just received. Same thing with a banknote for example. The glasses, thanks to visual recognition software, will decipher the characters and whisper them in my ear.

A box that recognizes faces and yoghurts

These glasses are even able to recognize faces or everyday products. For the faces it will still be necessary to have recorded beforehand, by filming the person for a few seconds and telling the glasses who is who. Whenever the person wearing these glasses passes you, they will recognize you and indicate that it is you.

The same goes for everyday consumer products. If I grab a yoghurt from the fridge, but I don’t know if it’s strawberry or raspberry, I point it out. It is then necessary to have previously registered once each product, with a friend for example. The glasses are also able to read bar codes and deduce the product in question, which is very practical when shopping at the supermarket.

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A prohibitive price

These glasses are only intended for the visually impaired and not for the blind, since you still have to be able to point to a text that you want to be read aloud, and you must therefore have a minimum of vision for that, but it is the kind of tool that changes lives. To read signs today in the street or to recognize a face, many visually impaired people are forced to use monoculars, telescopes like pirates. Obviously this kind of device, much more discreet is also much less stigmatizing.

It’s an Israeli company, Orcam, which developed this. Only problem, the price far from affordable: it takes more than 3,000 euros for this kind of glasses, even if a part is reimbursed by social security and the device is recognized by the departmental houses of disabled people and can therefore be subsidized.

Lend your eyes to a blind person

These glasses are a first step forward, but there are also mobile applications that play on solidarity and allow anyone to “lend” their eyes to a blind person. The application is called “Be my eyes” and allows a sighted person to help a blind person by describing what is in front of him thanks to the smartphone’s camera. This is a problem that arises daily for the blind: is my carton of milk expired? this can in my cupboard, is that tomatoes or ravioli? I’m lost in a station, where’s the exit?

He just has to open the application and he will be put in touch with one of the u, million and a half volunteers available at that time, the smartphone camera is triggered and you will be able to help the person remotely, which usually takes three seconds.

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Revolutionary glasses that describe to the visually impaired what they can’t see


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