These smart glasses could help bring sight to thousands of blind people, by converting visual information into images that can actually be seen by the visually impaired.
When people use the word blind, they don't always quite mean that someone can't see anything at all; often times, people with visual impairment can perceive some light and motion, just not enough to appreciate the world around them particularly well. So, these glasses -- developed at the University of Oxford -- try and leverage that fact to offer blind people a chance to see more clearly, reports New Scientist.
They use a camera and infrared projector to detect distance, and combine that data with information gathered from an on-board gyroscope, compass, and GPS system. The images themselves are projected on transparent OLEDs, overlaying high contrast colour -- in shades that work best for wearer -- on top of real life.
That means that specific parts of the images can be made more or less clear, highlighting images against the background, say, or picking out distant objects. The project has just won the Royal Society's Brian Mercer Award for Innovation, and the £50,000 ($85,000) prize money looks set to help make them a real product someday soon. [New Scientist]