5 Amazing Gadgets That Are Helping The Blind See Again
Blindness or near blindness is a surprisingly common impairments found around the world. Previously blindness was identified as an irreparable loss and there seemed to be no cure for blind or near-blind people. However, this is not the case anymore.
Rapid advancements in medical sciences and technologies are enabling mankind to devise ways to artificially provide a substitute for human vision. This article will discuss the top 5 amazing gadgets that are helping the blind see again.
It is a pair of glasses that resemble a set of VR glasses currently being produced by University of Oxford research department. These assisted vision smart glasses would prove to be of immense help to near-blind people as they use the color variation scheme to create an image for the near-blind people.
It has been observed that most blind people have some visionary perception towards color variation. Therefore, these glasses exploit this fact and produce an image based on different brightness level to intimate the wearer regarding the size as well as the depth, distance and length of the object.
Tingle The Tongue
Another cutting edge invention meant to help blind people to visualize their surroundings in their brain is called BrainPort-V100 invented by Dr. Paul Bach-y-Rita. These vision pairs of goggles are actually special sun glasses that capture the images of the surroundings and encode them into an electric signal, which is then transmitted to the electrode-studded mouthpiece of the wearer.
These electric signals are then received as tingles by the blind person on their tongue. The signals are then translated into images by the blind person after providing them a minimum of 10 hours one-to-one training. This gadget has clinically-proven trial results and has a success rate of 69% for the blind people who were trained for about one year.
Make Use Of Other Senses
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has made significant achievements in providing assistance to visually impaired individuals by developing a special product called EyeCane. This is pretty similar to the idea of BrainPort V100. However, it employs other senses such as hearing and touch.
It is made up of a pair of sensory-substitution devices (S.S.Ds), which emit infrared rays as sonar to locate the distance and size of the object and translates the same information into auditory and tactile cues. Provided that blind people are sufficiently trained, they can locate objects, alphabets and complex visual scenarios with high accuracy with the help of EyeCane.
Lechal Guiding Shoes
A brilliant invention by Ducere Technologies for blind people are Lechal guiding shoes that help the blind by guiding their way through vibrations in their feet. These insoles or shoes are connected to the smartphone via an app that guide directions to the wearer by sending vibrations.
A vibration in left sole indicates a left turn and the stronger the vibrations the closer the turn is. In addition, the company is also working on adding the feature of detecting obstacles, which would provide an experience of a near perfect walk to blind people.
The last of our amazing gadgets for blind is Argus II, commonly referred to as Bionic eye. It was invented by Dr. Greenberg who is the CEO of Second-Sight with the motive to provide vision to the patients of retinal pigmentosa.
This gadget is made up of a small chip and its corresponding glasses. The chip is first installed on the retina of the patient and is activated only when the patient wears the glasses. The glasses then send the signal to the retina of the wearer through an electric signal, which creates a low resolution gray scale picture for the wearer. Dr. Greenberg has reportedly been working on improving the technology to produce high quality colored images for the blind people.
This article highlights only 5 amazing gadgets that are helping the blind people see the world again. However, there are many more things available out there and we hope to see science reach its pinnacles and provide a perfect substitute for human disabilities.
Jen Starr is part of the community team at Next Day PC. Jen enjoys staying on top of the latest tech trends and sharing how new tech can positively impact people’s lives.