One percent of the world’s population is blind. That is approximately 70 million people, which is a very high number considering the current amount of assistive technologies available to aid these people and make life easier for them.
The startup OxSight originated in Oxford last year. They are investigating and developing new technology to change the situation and provide more and better technologies to aid the visually impaired.
OxSight aims to be a replacement for canes and seeing-eye dogs, which give the user immediate localization of obstacles nearby, but fail to give the user a sense of awareness of the environment they find themselves in.
OxSight has created smart glasses that rely on technologies such as see-through displays, camera systems and computer vision techniques that have been developed for augmented reality to better understand the environment. Most people who have tested the OxSight previously had some level of sight that has gradually deteriorated over time. The product uses the sight they still have and amplifies it inside a pair of augmented reality glasses.
For people with minimal vision, and taking into consideration the fact that each visually impaired person is affected differently, this software can project a cardboard cutout of what a person looks like and users who still have limited vision can customize their experience by boosting colors or zooming in and out.
This technology will be able to bring joy to users who thought they’d never see their loved ones’ faces again as well as increase the quality of life of some of those 70 million people affected by visual impairment.